Fernandez Hospital set up the Fetal Medicine Unit in 1998 with the aim of offering diagnosis and treatment of complications that may arise in unborn babies.
The Unit was the first in Andhra Pradesh State to perform intra-uterine fetal blood transfusion for Rh isoimmunisation pregnancies. So far, 16 intra uterine blood transfusions have been performed.
The Department now provides screening services for all pregnant women. It also specializes in additional care for those who have previously had a pregnancy with fetal abnormalities or those who have issues with their current pregnancy. The unit works very closely with the hospital's antenatal clinic, and the genetics and neonatology departments.
Fetal Medicine Services
The Department provides a routine local ultrasound service as well as a high quality tertiary referral service for several local and district hospitals.
Early pregnancy and fetal viability scan: This examination is done to confirm pregnancy, to determine the number of fetuses present, to check the presence of cardiac activity, and to exclude extra uterine (ectopic) pregnancy.
First trimester screening -- Nuchal scan combined with serum biochemistry : This scan is conducted between 11-13.6 weeks of the pregnancy to help:
- 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.
Anomaly scan: This is a detailed scan between 19-23 weeks to exclude abnormalities.
It focuses 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
Cardiac scan: (Fetal echo): A detailed examination of the fetal heart, conducted at 20-24 weeks, is especially recommended for :
Women with a family history of heart abnormalities.
- Where increased nuchal translucency was found at the 12 week scan.
- Women with medical disorders like diabetes and epilepsy
Fetal Wellbeing scan: The scan is conducted after 32 weeks of pregnancy. The aim is to determine the growth and health of the fetus by:
Measurement of the size of the fetal head, abdomen and thigh bone, and calculation of an estimated fetal 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 perform invasive tests for prenatal diagnosis or prenatal screening like:
- Chorionic Villus Sampling: Obtaining tissue from the placenta. This is done between 11 -14 weeks
- Amniocentesis: Sampling the amniotic fluid for various tests. This is performed after 16 weeks
- Fetal Blood Sampling: Taking the fetal blood for different tests. This is performed after 20 weeks