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Petition for scan which could save hundreds of babies lives

Petition for scan which could save hundreds of babies lives

Published at 6:57am 18th October 2018.

A North Yorkshire woman is campaigning to introduce a scan that could save the lives of hundreds of babies.

Sarah Nelson has launched a petition calling on the Royal College of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists to start screening expectant mums for Vasa Praevia.

It's after she lost her son to the condition in 2006.

Vasa Praevia affects around 1 in 2,500 births, but being in a risk group can increase that probability. For example, an IVF pregnancy has a 1 in 293 chance and 10% of all Vasa Praevia cases are in twin/multiples births.

Vasa Praevia affects over 500 babies each year.

What is Vasa Praevia?

  •  Vasa Praevia occurs when one or more of the baby’s placental or umbilical blood vessels across the entrance to the birth canal beneath the baby.
  • When the cervix dilates or the membranes rupture, the unprotected vessels can tear, causing rapid fetal haemorrhage.
  • When the baby drops into the pelvis, the vessels can be compressed, compromising the baby’s blood supply and causing oxygen deprivation.

Sarah is now campaigning for a screening to be done at the twenty week ultrasound scan.

Sarah told Stray FM:

"The equipment they use to perform the scan for Vasa Praevia is already part of the ultrasound machine that's in use.

The first I heard about the condition was three months after we lost our son. I wasn't screened for it, I didn't know I had it. The condition is quite rare, but it still affects hundreds of babies."

You can read more about the petition here.