Ultrasound Paper Recommends Prenatal Scanning For Vasa Praevia
Vasa Praevia is a condition which affects approximately 1 in 2500 deliveries, and as many as 1 in 300 in IVF pregnancies.
A paper in Ultrasound volume 16 number 1, Vasa Praevia; a Preventable Tragedy, reviews the mechanisms leading to vasa praevia (VP) as well as the incidence, clinical implications, and risk factors associated with this condition, and recommends routine evaluation to exclude VP in all routine obstetric scans as a matter of urgency.
The paper aims to persuade all those undertaking the detailed anomaly scan that excluding vasa praevia (VP) is a worthwhile endeavour and one that is easily achievable within the confines of the second-trimester anomaly scan.
Vasa praevia occurs when one or more of the baby"s placental or umbilical blood vessels cross the entrance to the birth canal beneath the baby. When the cervix dilates or the membranes rupture, the unprotected vessels can tear, causing rapid foetal haemorrhage. When the baby drops into the pelvis, the vessels can be compressed, compromising the baby"s blood supply and causing oxygen deprivation. For more information visit http://www.vasapraevia.co.uk
The paper is written by Elizabeth Daly-Jones, Ann John, Alison Leahy, and Ciara McKenna (Ultrasound Department, Queen Charlotte"s and Chelsea Hospital, London, UK), and Waldo Sepulveda (Fetal Medicine Center, Clinica Las Condes, Santiago, Chile).
Elizabeth Daly-Jones hopes the article will raise awareness of VP in prenatal scans: "The method for excluding VP is a very simple technique, uses skills that trained practitioners already possess, and takes approximately a minute of extra examination time. VP is life threatening to a healthy baby, but a proper diagnosis and an elective Caesarean section will easily prevent unnecessary deaths.
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