Prenatal Screening
1. Who should go for FTS and STS? 
  - Advanced maternal age (≥ 35 years old)
  - Previous birth of a child with a birth defect
  - Individuals with personal or family history of birth defects
  - Abnormal ultrasound findings

2. What are the advantages of FTS? 
  - Non-invasive, requires only mother’s blood sample
  - Safe, no-risk of miscarriage
  - Accurate, Nuchal Scan + blood test gives 90% accuracy of the result

3. What is the difference between prenatal screening tests and diagnostic tests?
- Screening tests are non-invasive, therefore they do not pose any danger to the fetus. These tests provide the risk or probability of the baby being affected. Diagnostic tests are invasive and as such, there is a risk of miscarriage. However, diagnostic tests do give a conclusive answer and the risk of miscarriage is only 1 in 100 (1%)

4. What are the Diagnostic tests?
“Diagnostic tests” are invasive tests which are offered to mothers considered to be at high risk of having a baby with a chromosomal problem. The diagnostic test provides you with a definitive answer as to whether your baby is truly affected. Chorionic villous sampling (CVS) involves removing a small amount of cells from the placenta (afterbirth). Cells are obtained by passing a long needle through the abdomen or occasionally through the vagina, intothe placenta. It can be done form 11 weeks onwards,. An advantage of this test is that a definitive result is available sooner. There is a 1% risk of miscarriage.

There are many types of chromosome abnormalities. However, they can be organized into two basic groups: numerical abnormalities and structural abnormalities.
Numerical Abnormalities: When an individual is missing one of the chromosomes from a pair, the condition is called monosomy. When an individual has more than two chromosomes instead of a pair, the condition is called trisomy.

5. What is pre-eclampsia?
  - A pregnancy-induced     increased     blood     pressure (hypertension) and  protein in the urine (proteinuria), that usually occurs  after  the 20th  weeks of pregnancy, which may severely affect the mother and the fetus. 

6.  How may pre-eclampsia affect your baby?
Pre-eclampsia affects the development of the placenta (afterbirth), which may prevent your
baby growing as it should. There may also be less fluid around your baby in the womb.
If the placenta is severely affected, your baby may become very unwell. In some cases, the
baby may even die in the womb. Monitoring aims to pick up those babies who are most at risk.

7. Who is at risk of pre-eclampsia?
Pre-eclampsia can occur in any pregnancy but you are at higher risk if:
•    your blood pressure was high before you became pregnant
•    your blood pressure was high in a previous pregnancy
•    you have a medical problem such as kidney problems or diabetes or a condition that  affects    the immune system, such as lupus.

8. Can it be prevented?
If you are at risk of having pre-eclampsia, your doctor will advise you to take low-dose aspirin (75 mg) once a day from 12 weeks of pregnancy, to reduce your risk.Screening during the first trimester can identify women at high-risk for pre-eclampsia and leads to earlier detection of the clinical signs of the disease, where necessary medication can be given.

NICC® (Non-Invasive ChromosomesCheck)

1. Who should go for NICC® test?
  - Advanced maternal age (≥ 35 years old)
  - Previous birth of a child with a birth defect
  - Individuals with personal or family history of birth defects
  - Abnormal ultrasound findings

2. How accurate is NICC® test?
NICC® is accurate to 99% for detection of Down Syndrome, Edwards Syndrome and Patau Syndrome. It is important to note that NICC® is a screening test, which means that it does not test with 100% accuracy like an invasive diagnostic procedure such as amniocentesis

3.How is the NICC test performed?
NICC can be done any time after 10 weeks of pregnancy. Blood sample is taken from the mother’s arm.

4.What does the NICC test look for?
During pregnancy, fetal DNA from the placenta can be found in the mother’s blood. The NICC test detects the fetal DNA and measures the individual risk of chromosomal abnormalities (Down Syndrome, Edward Syndrome & Patau Syndrome) in the fetus.

5.What are the advantages of NICC test?
- Simple: Requires only mother’s blood for testing
- Safe: Non – invasive, and therefore no risk to the baby
- Accurate: It detects more than 99% of Down Syndrome, Edward Syndrome and Patau Syndrome

Prenatal Diagnostic Tests:

1. Who should go for KaryoCheck test?
- Women with recurrent miscarriage

2. What are the advantages of KaryoCheck?
- High resolution chromosomal profiling
- Able to determine the cause of pregnancy loss
- For a better family planning

3. Who should go for ThalaCheck®?
- Individuals with personal or family history of Thalassaemia
- Premarital couple
- Fetus with parents who are Thalassaemia carrier

4. What are the advantages of ThalaCheck®?
- Better family planning
- Early Thalassaemia test will allow you and your spouse to be more prepared for the special care and treatment

Baby Health

1. How will my baby be screened? 
    A sample of blood is obtained by pricking the baby’s heel  
    between 48 to 72 hours after birth. This sample is then placed
    on a filter paper which is sent to the laboratory for testing.

2. What are the advantages of NBS?
    -  Simple and affordable
    -  Reliable
    -  Treatable when diagnosed early

3. My baby looks healthy. Is NBS still needed?
 - YES! Most babies with Inborn errors of metabolism (IEM) look healthy at birth but can become very sick after a few days or weeks. If not found early, many of the conditions can cause serious and permanent health problems, (ie; mental retardation, severe developmental delay and even death).

4. What is allergen?
    Allergens are substances that induce allergy symptoms. It usually    
    consists of proteins often with enzyme properties. The allergens
    cause the production of a type of antibody, called IgE (Immunoglobulin E),  
    that is specifically associated with the development of allergy. Almost any
    protein substance may act as an allergen but in the tropic, the following are
    highly allergenic: house dust mites and their faecal pellets, pet dander and
    common foods (egg, milk, peanuts, prawns and soybean).

5. How is allergy diagnosed?
    There are two types of allergy tests:
    - Skin Prick Test (in vivo)
    - Blood Allergy Test (in vitro)

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