PUBS - Cord Blood Sampling
While the advent of a new baby brings with it so many exciting and wonderful prospects, it also can bring with it concern and fears for the well-being of the baby, especially if there are pre-existing conditions or risks. Today there is an abundance of methods and tests available to help a medical professional discern a situation and circumvent problems with pregnancies and birth difficulties, or at least help a family prepare for possible life challenges with their new baby.
PUBS-Not A Night On The Town
Cordocentesis, also known as Percutaneous Umbilical Cord Blood Sampling or PUBS, is a test which examines the blood of the unborn baby for abnormalities. Similar to amniocentesis in application, cordocentesis is used to obtain blood from the fetus while amniocentesis takes amniotic fluid from the sac. This test is done in order to confirm certain suspicions when it comes to possible birth defects or syndromes which will have a profound effect upon the lives of both parents and baby.
It may be done in order to pursue possible medical interventions, should they be applicable to the situation. Parents may have an opportunity to plan for the care and development of a special needs child or to address lifestyle changes that may be necessary. Information from a cordocentesis may be useful in helping families obtain the help they need to cope with their specific situation in terms of support and assistance. Ultimately, it may be the deciding factor in whether the woman will carry the pregnancy to term.
What Is A Cordocentesis Good For?
A cordocentesis is able to find some abnormalities such as Down syndrome, and blood disorders like fetal hemolytic disease. It is also useful in diagnosing fetal malformation, toxoplasmosis or rubella infection, the mother's platelet count in the fetus, anemia and isoimmunisation. This highly accurate form of testing is able to detect abnormalities, however, it does not measure how serious these disorders may be, nor does it detect neural tube disorders.
Similar To Amniocentesis, But Different
To perform this test, the location of the insertion point of the umbilical cord into the placenta is found with an advanced imaging ultrasound. A thin needle is guided to the umbilical cord through the abdomen and uterus using the ultrasound image and is then inserted into the cord to obtain a small sample of fetal blood. The sample is then sent away for analysis to a lab. Results are often obtained within three days.
The primary risk of cordocentesis is miscarriage, which occurs in about one or two out of 100 tests. Other side effects may be loss of blood from the site of the puncture wound, infection, a drop in the baby's heart rate and premature rupture of the membranes. Causes for concern include fever, chills, and amniotic fluid leaks.