Fernandez Hospital set up the Fetal Medicine Unit in 1998, to diagnose and treat unborn babies that require medical care.
The Unit was the first in Andhra Pradesh to perform an intra-uterine foetal blood transfusion for an Rh isoimmunisation pregnancy. So far, 16 intra uterine blood transfusions have been performed.
The Department now provides screening services for all pregnant women. It offers additional care to mothers who have encountered foetal abnormalities in their past pregnancies, and to those with problematic current pregnancies.
The unit works very closely with the hospital’s antenatal clinic, the genetics department, and the neonatology department.
Fetal Medicine Services
The Department provides a routine, local ultrasound services, which extend to everal local and district hospitals too.
Early Pregnancy and Fetal Viability Scan
An examination done to confirm pregnancy, determine the number of fetuses present, check the presence of cardiac activity, and to exclude extra uterine (ectopic) pregnancies.
First Trimester ScreeningNuchal scan combined with serum biochemistry. It is conducted between 11-13.6 weeks of the pregnancy, to
- Accurately determine the date of pregnancy, and expected date of delivery
- Assess the risks of Down’s syndrome and other chromosomal abnormalities
- Diagnose multiple pregnancies and determine chorionicity
- Diagnose certain major fetal abnormalities
- Diagnose early pregnancy failure
A detailed scan taken between 19-23 weeks to exclude abnormalities, focussing on
- Position of the placenta
- Amount of amniotic fluid present
- Measurement of fetal growth, where special attention is paid to the brain, face, spine, heart, stomach, bowel, kidneys and limbs
- Measurement of cervical length
A fetal echo is a detailed examination of the foetal heart, conducted at 20-24 weeks, and usually recommended for
- Women with a family history of heart abnormalities
- Cases where increased nuchal translucency was found at the 12 week scan
- Women with medical disorders like diabetes and epilepsy
Fetal Wellbeing Scan
A scan conducted after 32 weeks of pregnancy, to determine the growth and health of the fetus by:
- Measurement of the size of the fetal head, abdomen, thigh bone, and calculation of an estimated foetal weight
- Examination of the movements of the fetus
- Evaluation of the placental position and appearance
- Measurement of the amount of amniotic fluid
- Assessment of blood flow to the placenta and fetus by Colour Doppler ultrasound
We also perform the necessary invasive tests for prenatal screenings.
Chorionic Villus Sampling: Obtaining tissue from the placenta. Conducted between 11 -14 weeks
Amniocentesis: Sampling the amniotic fluid for various tests. Conducted after 16 weeks
Fetal Blood Sampling: Testing the fetal blood. Conducted after 20 weeks