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Could This Simple Test Prevent More Than Half Of Stillbirths?

More than half of stillbirths in the UK could be prevented if the NHS implemented Doppler scans, BBC Panorama has reported.

Each year over 4,000 babies are stillborn to parents in the UK, one of the worst rates in the developed world and most occur due to a failure in the mother’s placenta when babies are starved of blood and oxygen, according to the NHS.

A leading obstetrician Prof Kypros Nicolaides spoke on Panorama last night about the benefits of The Doppler scan, which measures blood flow between the placenta and foetus.
Having researched them for 15 years, Prof Nicolaides is confident that over half of stillbirths a year could be saved with the innovative scan, which currently is only offered to 15-20% of women who are deemed high risk.

However, all pregnant women who attend Prof Nicolaides' NHS clinic at King's College Hospital in London are offered the Doppler scan at 12, 22 and 32 weeks of pregnancy.

We have demonstrated through extensive research that you can identify more than 90% of those cases from the 12-week assessment,’ Prof Nicolaides said.

‘We can easily avoid them and we can do so through very simple adjustments in the way we deliver antenatal care.’


Anne Mackie, director of programmes at the UK National Screening Committee said: ‘We will make contact with Prof Nicolaides and attempt to understand what he proposes.

‘Any proposal is assessed against our robust set of internationally recognised criteria before we can recommend any screening but we always welcome new evidence.’

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