17 April 2009

Thirteenth Week Trauma

During the 13th week of pregnancy the gyne asks the pregnant woman to under go a particular scan to rule out Down syndrome. For most of the mothers-to-be this is a traumatic experience. The fact relating to Down syndrome are here from Wiki:

Down syndrome, Down's syndrome, or trisomy 21 is a chromosomal disorder caused by the presence of all or part of an extra 21st chromosome. It is named after John Langdon Down, the British doctor who described the syndrome in 1866. The disorder was identified as a chromosome 21 trisomy by Jérôme Lejeune in 1959. The condition is characterized by a combination of major and minor differences in structure. Often Down syndrome is associated with some impairment of cognitive ability and physical growth as well as facial appearance. Down syndrome in a baby can be identified with amniocentesis during pregnancy or at birth.

Individuals with Down syndrome tend to have a lower than average cognitive ability, often ranging from mild to moderate
developmental disabilities. A small number have severe to profound mental disability. The incidence of Down syndrome is estimated at 1 per 800 to 1,000 births, although these statistics are heavily influenced by the age of the mother. Other factors may also play a role.
...The incidence of Down syndrome is estimated at one per 800 to one per 1000 births.[12] In 2006, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention estimated the rate as one per 733 live births in the United States (5429 new cases per year).[13] Approximately 95% of these are trisomy 21. Down syndrome occurs in all ethnic groups and among all economic classes.
Maternal age influences the chances of conceiving a baby with Down syndrome. At maternal age 20 to 24, the probability is one in 1562; at age 35 to 39 the probability is one in 214, and above age 45 the probability is one in 19.[14] Although the probability increases with maternal age, 80% of children with Down syndrome are born to women under the age of 35,[15] reflecting the overall fertility of that age group. Recent data also suggest that paternal age, especially beyond 42,[16] also increases the risk of Down Syndrome manifesting in pregnancies in older mothers.[17]

Current research (as of 2008) has shown that Down syndrome is due to a random event during the formation of sex cells or pregnancy. There has been no evidence that it is due to parental behavior (other than age) or environmental factors.
Pregnant women can be screened for various complications during pregnancy. Many standard prenatal screens can discover Down syndrome. Genetic counseling along with genetic testing, such as amniocentesis, chorionic villus sampling (CVS), or percutaneous umbilical cord blood sampling (PUBS) are usually offered to families who may have an increased chance of having a child with Down syndrome, or where normal prenatal exams indicate possible problems. Genetic screens are often performed on pregnant women older than 30 or 35.

Amniocentesis and CVS are considered invasive procedures, in that they involve inserting instruments into the uterus, and therefore carry a small risk of causing fetal injury or miscarriage. There are several common non-invasive screens that can indicate a fetus with Down syndrome. These are normally performed in the late first trimester or early second trimester. Due to the nature of screens, each has a significant chance of a
false positive, suggesting a fetus with Down syndrome when, in fact, the fetus does not have this genetic abnormality. Screen positives must be verified before a Down syndrome diagnosis is made. Even with the best non-invasive screens, the detection rate is 90%–95% and the rate of false positive is 2%–5%. False positives can be caused by undetected multiple fetuses (very rare with the ultrasound tests), incorrect date of pregnancy, or normal variation in the proteins.

Confirmation of screen positive is normally accomplished with amniocentesis or chorionic villus sampling (CVS). Amniocentesis is an invasive procedure and involves taking
amniotic fluid from the amniotic sac and identifying fetal cells. The lab work can take several weeks but will detect over 99.8% of all numerical chromosomal problems with a very low false positive rate.[21]

The tests that the gynes suggest are not accurate in their result and these tests can cause abortions in one out of every ten cases. I wonder on what basis the doctors suggest such in-human asuric tests for to-be mothers. Like abortion, this is a serious issue we should all consider. It the name of tests they are simply promoting abortion unscrupulously. What kind of tests did our grannies take before they gave birth to 10 children in their very homes. My own granny had 8 children and all were delivered at her home. Today, I feel medicine is nothing but an unethical business.

Just the other day we took a friend who had very high fever to a local corporate run hospital. Within one hour of admitting him in the hospital the doctor asked us to take a PET scan for the patient because he suspecgted cancer. Gosh! You how we would have felt! However we took the scan immediately and it costed us Rs.25,000. The result was negative.

Later we found out that the scan center is also owned my the hospital authorities and it is a revenue generation method for the newly opened scan centre. More over PET scan is not considered for initial diagnosis. It is only to see the spread of cancer once is it fully blown. For initial diagnosis they use Biopsy. Can you imagne how cheated and robed we would have felt? They are all simply there to make money out of our misery.

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