Many NHS hospitals now offer a nuchal scan, but the NHS scan does not look for all of the markers for Downs syndrome that MUMS does. They do not look for the presence of a nasal bone, the heart and the blood flow studies. Therefore our detection rate is much higher than the NHS can offer as we are looking at the baby in more detail. All nuchal scans performed at MUMS are undertaken by a fetal medicine specialist, who is highly skilled in this screening process.
All women whatever their age, have a small risk of delivering a baby with Downs Syndrome; the risk increases as the age of the mother increases. These syndromes are chromosomal abnormalities caused by the presence of an extra chromosome within the cells of the baby.
The nuchal scan can only be performed between 11 weeks + 2 days and 13 weeks + 6 days of pregnancy and is carried out by fetal medicine specialist.
This test also includes the results of a blood test which is taken from the mother to measure the levels of two hormones that are being released directly by the pregnancy (free B-hCG and PAPP-A). This blood test can be taken from 10 weeks of pregnancy and when taken prior to the scan appointment ensures complete results are given on the day. If the blood test is taken on the day of the scan the final result will be available within two to three days.