Although CHD is the most common form of birth defect, affecting approximately one percent of babies born in the United States, there are still a lot of questions surrounding what it is and what causes it.
Often CHD occurs when the heart doesn’t divide normally during early fetal development, before 8 weeks gestation. There is still a lot of research needed as to why CHD occurs, but there are some instances when CHD is genetic or is caused by a disease the mother has.
OceanMed offers fetal echocardiograms, which is a detailed ultrasound performed of the baby’s heart while it’s still in the womb. A transducer, which is a small camera is placed on the mother’s abdomen, sends out ultrasonic sound waves. These ultrasound waves bounce off the baby’s organs and then bounce back to the mother’s abdomen where the camera captures a detailed moving picture of the organs, including the heart. This is then viewed by the doctor who is able to see how the organs are forming, whether the structures and function of the organs are forming at pace and/or with a defect.
OceanMed is happy to offer fetal echocardiograms to the women of the Cayman Islands, enabling women to have the highest level of care and diagnostics on island throughout their pregnancies.
Your obstetrician may recommend a fetal echocardiogram for various reasons including:
- If a sibling was born with a congenital heart defect
- A family history of congenital heart disease
- A chromosomal or genetic abnormality discovered in the fetus
- If a mother has taken certain medications that may cause congenital heart defects, such as anti-seizure medications or prescription acne medications
- If a woman has abused alcohol or drugs during pregnancy
- If a woman has diabetes, phenylketonuria, or a connective tissue disease such as lupus
- If a woman has had rubella during pregnancy
- A routine prenatal ultrasound has discovered possible heart abnormalities
Whether you have a high-risk pregnancy and require a fetal echocardiogram or need a routine prenatal scan OceanMed accepts referrals, just ask your doctor to refer you to OceanMed for your next ultrasound and give us a call on 946-2326 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.