Tuesday, February 18, 2014

Tried & True Tuesday: Nix Unnecessary Prenatal Testing

This post could teeter on the edge of controversial for some, so I am just not going to delve in to the specifics... not today anyways! This post will be semi-short & relatively sweet.

I was thrilled to learn this week that the Society for Maternal-Fetal Medicine had released its list of the top 5 common practice procedures that may not be necessary, with this amazing tidbit at number 3:

"Don't offer noninvasive prenatal testing (NIPT) to low-risk patients or make irreversible decisions based on the results of this screening test." Utility of NIPT remains unclear for low-risk pregnancies."

They further upped the anti by offering clinicians recommendations on what not to do in certain situations.

My recommendations:

  1. don't pretend you can see an unborn child's future in some crystal ball, then tell parents that they have no future
  2. don't tell a family that there is "no hope" for their child based upon a diagnosis that has a definition written too many years ago with no additional information or research to back the prognosis; continued research elicits medical advancements faster than most textbooks can keep up with
  3. don't encourage a family to terminate a life based upon a test that does NOT have 100% accuracy rate; since no test is fail-safe, let the family decide the life a child should or should not have... but only AFTER you have given them every ounce of information possible and encouraged them to seek out information on their own!! Since you can never possess every ounce of information, sounds like termination should be left out of the equation all together. More often than not, families terminate with the ideal that this is not only the BEST option, but the only option
  4. don't let a piece of paper (aka your medical degree) be the end of your education, nor let the knowledge you already possess feed your pride... it's absolutely ok to admit you do not have all of the answers and patients would rather see you shrug your shoulders then feed them a long line of BS; we appreciate your thinking out of the box and would love for you to tell us that you will help us do more research
If you're interested in reading the other REAL recommendations made within this release, read the full article HERE

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