Detecting Fetal Abnormalities Through Ultrasound

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Detecting Fetal Abnormalities Through Ultrasound Birth defects can have life threatening consequences for the fetus. Many birth defects can be detected during pregnancy by an ultrasound. Some of these abnormalities include abdominal wall defect, orofacial cleft, anencephaly, and down syndrome. Although at this time ultrasound is the safest way to observe a fetus, risks are still associated with it.
An ultrasound is a test that sends sound waves into the woman’s abdomen or vagina in order to create an image to observe how the fetus is developing within the womb (“Pregnancy Ultrasound,” n.d.). Some of the many names for an ultrasound include pregnancy ultrasound, babi, obstetric ultrasonography, and an obstetric
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Exomphalos can be linked to genetic abnormalities and it may occur with any age of the mother (“Contact a Family,” 2012). Gastroschisis is characterised by a defect in the abdominal wall and it is positioned to one side of the umbilical cord, typically the right side. In most cases the bowel will develop out of the abdomen. The bowel will remain out of the abdomen for the remaining time of the pregnancy. In some cases, the amniotic “ fluid irritates the bowel and makes it inflamed and thick, so that it does not work properly. Sometimes the bowel becomes twisted as it floats in the fluid and the blood supply is restricted.” (“Contact a Family,” 2012). At birth, the bowel can become further irritated when it is exposed to the air. Gastroschisis is associated with younger mothers; if the mother is under 20 years old, the risk of her child having gastroschisis is twelve times more likely (“Contact a Family,” 2012). Gastroschisis is typically not linked with any other abnormality, which means that is almost always an isolated abnormality (“Contact a Family,” 2012).
After birth, both types of abdominal wall defects can be treated. The exposed organs are typically wrapped in a surgical cling film, which helps prevent infection. A primary repair surgery can be performed as soon as the baby is stable enough. This surgery is performed if a small portion of the bowel was exposed. During this surgery, the bowl is simply returned to the abdomen and the

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