Shorter wait for Down's Syndrome results
This will shorten the time parents will have to wait before knowing if a baby has this birth defect.
SINGAPORE: Getting your foetus tested for Down's Syndrome will no longer be a three-week-long nerve-wracking wait, thanks to a new technique developed by a group of doctors from Singapore and the United Kingdom.I always thought Amnio results only took minutes. It did in this book, so it must be true. After all Tom Clancy thoroughly researches everything he writes. NOT!
Unlike conventional methods, such as Karyotyping, which takes up to 21 days to diagnose, the new procedure called FlashFISH (Fluorescent in situ Hybridisation) requires a mere two-hour testing time.
Come the year's end, the National University Hospital (NUH) will be the first in the world to offer the novel technique, an "improved" version of the existing Standard FISH, whereby pregnant mothers have to wait for at least 24 to 48 hours for the results.
"Waiting for test results can cause a lot of anxiety in couples. Hence, we decided to develop an alternative technique that requires a shorter waiting time," said team-leader Professor Mahesh Choolani, a senior consultant with NUH's department of obstetrics and gynaecology. An estimated 1 in 30 tests turn out positive, he added.
While the tests do not pose visible risks, the initial process of drawing the amniotic fluid for laboratory tests does result in one miscarriage for every 200 cases.
Waiting for important test results is always nerve wracking. As a cancer survivor myself, I'm well acquainted with the experience.
The testing will first become available in Singapore, and with time I hope will become used world wide. Still the danger persists for mothers who have these tests done.(From the article above, the Flash Fish test, sounds just like a amniocenteis.) There is a risk the test can cause a miscarriage. That's why I strongly feel, a mother should consider that risk before having the procedure done. Unless a Mom feels a strong need to know if the child has Downs or wishes to abort if the result if the result is positive, she should skip the test IMHO. I expressed these feelings in an earlier blog post, and how it related to my wife and I when she was pregnant with Daniel. We felt the risk of losing our child wasn't worth having the amnio done. My wife's doctor respected that decision, and wasn't pushy about having the test done.
Bottom line- The shortened waiting time is great news but mothers should make the final decision whether to have the test or not and not feel pressured to do so by healthcare providers.
Linked to- Adam, Perri Nelson, Right Wing Nation, Woman Honor Thyself,