Prenatal Screening

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Genetic Disorders and Birth Defects, New Jersey

Today, the standard of medical care requires that all women must be offered certain screening tests during pregnancy. Since many genetic disorders and birth defects are more common in certain ethnic groups and are linked through family history, the first prenatal screening tests typically come via history, pedigree analysis and carrier screening. A thorough history should identify risk factors for genetic disorders and must include the race, religion and ethnicity of both parents as well as the presence of genetic disorders or carrier status of the parents and relatives. Specialists in genetic screening through family history and pedigree analysis are called genetic counselors.

Carrier blood screening tests for genetic defects that are more common in different ethnic groups. Ideally, carrier screening should be performed even before conception, however, if it was not tested before pregnancy, then as soon as an expectant mother learns she is pregnant her blood should be tested to determine if she is a carrier of certain genetic conditions. If the mother’s test is positive, then the father’s blood must be tested, and further diagnostic studies, such as amniocentesis or chorionic villi sampling can then determine whether that pregnancy is afflicted with a genetic defect.

First Trimester Screening

In addition to taking a family history, a pedigree analysis, genetic counseling and carrier screening, there is a two part prenatal screening test that is performed during the first trimester between 10-14 weeks of pregnancy. The first part of this test, called a nuchal translucency test, is an ultrasound examination which measures the translucent space at the back of the neck (nuchal) of the fetus and can be helpful in detecting Down syndrome. The second part of the first trimester screen measures the mother’s blood for two substances, PAPP-A (pregnancy-associated plasma protein-A) and hCG (human chorionic gonadotropin). The combined results of the nuchal translucency and first trimester blood test help identify fetuses at an increased risk of chromosomal disorders including Down syndrome and fetuses at an increased risk for cardiac defects.

When the nuchal translucency is increased but the blood test is normal, the test also helps to detect fetuses that may have a cardiac defect and require a targeted ultrasound.

Second Trimester Screening

A “Quad Screen” is a maternal blood test done between 16 and 18 weeks. The timing of the test is extremely important as some of the substances measured only provide accurate information at certain points in the pregnancy. As such, the dating of the pregnancy must be correct or the results may be misleading. The mother’s blood is analyzed for the presence of four substances: hCG (human chorionic gonadotropin), AFP (alpha-fetoprotein), inhibin A and UE3 (estriol). Quad Screen results show whether a fetus is at increased risk for neural tube defects like spina bifida, chromosomal disorders like trisomy 18 and 21 (Down syndrome) and even abdominal wall defects. Patients who have abnormal Quad Screen results must be offered further testing, such as a targeted ultrasound or amniocentesis, so that a diagnosis can be made with certainty.

It should be noted that although Quad Screen tests are highly accurate in identifying neural tube defects they often provide a false sense of security to parents regarding Down syndrome since they are only approximately 70% accurate in identifying fetuses with Down syndrome.

Fetal Anatomical Survey Ultrasound

Ultrasound is a technique that uses sound waves to visualize organs within the human body. When performed and interpreted correctly, ultrasounds allow medical care providers to gain important health information about the fetus without any risk to the mother or the fetus. Between 16 to 22 weeks gestation, an ultrasound examination is performed to assess the fetal anatomy. This ultrasound is typically called a “Fetal Anatomical Survey.” During this ultrasound the interpreting physician checks whether the fetus is growing properly, the anatomy of the baby is normal and not discordant or disproportionate in size, the dating of the pregnancy is correct and there are no abnormalities. The measurements of the anatomy and cardiac views taken during this ultrasound are used to calculate risk and a thorough examination can help identify fetuses at increased risk for spina bifida and other neural tube defects, brain defects, cardiac defects, Down syndrome, and missing organs and bones.

Targeted Ultrasounds & Genetic Sonograms

A Targeted Ultrasound must be offered to women who may be at an increased risk of having a baby with a genetic disorder, birth defect or complication. If there is a family history of any genetic disorder or birth defect, or if the mother is considered to be of advanced maternal age, had an abnormal blood test, had a prior ultrasound that may have been abnormal or if any of the prior screening tests are inconclusive or indicate the mother is at an increased risk of carrying a fetus with a genetic disorder or birth defect, the mother must be offered a Targeted Ultrasound.

Targeted Ultrasounds assess the overall growth and development of a baby and screen for birth defects and genetic conditions. For this reason, Targeted Ultrasounds are often called Genetic Sonograms. Since the mid-1980s physicians have identified fetal anatomical signs or “markers” which are associated with Down syndrome, trisomy 18 and trisomy 13 and other genetic disorders. Targeted ultrasounds must be carefully performed and interpreted because the presence of any of these markers means there is a substantial risk the fetus has a genetic disorder or birth defect. Additionally, Targeted Ultrasounds can detect birth defects such as cleft lip, open neural tube defects such as spina bifida, heart defects and hydrocephaly.

What New Jersey Medical Malpractice Lawyers at Eichen Crutchlow Zaslow, LLP Can Do To Help You

New Jersey medical malpractice lawyers at Eichen Crutchlow Zaslow, LLP regularly handle wrongful birth cases and cases involving negligent prenatal screening. If your child was born with a genetic disorder or birth defect, please contact us by phone at 732-384-1331 or online to schedule a consultation with a qualified NJ medical malpractice lawyer.

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"The list is LONG of the wonderful things that I can say about Barry, Maria (his assistant) & the rest of the folks that I had the HONOR of spending time with during my case. I brought my case to another lawyer that told me that I have no case, yet Barry was not only able to WIN, but he WON a substantial amount! Lawyers have awful reputations, but Barry defies every single one of them! Barry Eichen genuinely CARES about his clients!! NOTHING was too much to ask for – there was no such thing as too many phone calls! Without a doubt, I was in the BEST HANDS with Barry as my attorney! I not only WON my lawsuit, but I also WON lifelong FRIENDS!"

~ Client

Eichen Crutchlow Zaslow, LLP
5.0
2018-10-22T00:29:45+00:00

~ Client

"The list is LONG of the wonderful things that I can say about Barry, Maria (his assistant) & the rest of the folks that I had the HONOR of spending time with during my case. I brought my case to another lawyer that told me that I have no case, yet Barry was not only able to WIN, but he WON a substantial amount! Lawyers have awful reputations, but Barry defies every single one of them! Barry Eichen genuinely CARES about his clients!! NOTHING was too much to ask for – there was no such thing as too many phone calls! Without a doubt, I was in the BEST HANDS with Barry as my attorney! I not only WON my lawsuit, but I also WON lifelong FRIENDS!"

I have to say he is a great person.

"I had a bad accident back in June of 2015. My dad knows Barry. I have to say he is a great person. I was unsatisfied with some things that were happening with a previous lawyer and he made sure everything was fixed and I was satisfied. My lawyer Edward McElroy is great he answers emails in a timely matter even on weekends. I know they probably used to get annoyed with me calling all the time Lol. But I was just curious to what is going on with my case. Nicole, Ed’s secretary is great. She always responds back to my emails in a timely matter as well and even checks up on things with me from time to time. Barry recently became my mother and cousins Lawyer do to a bad accident they were involved in as well. I would highly recommend this firm. Thanks guys 🙂"

~ Client

Eichen Crutchlow Zaslow, LLP
5.0
2018-10-31T17:42:12+00:00

~ Client

"I had a bad accident back in June of 2015. My dad knows Barry. I have to say he is a great person. I was unsatisfied with some things that were happening with a previous lawyer and he made sure everything was fixed and I was satisfied. My lawyer Edward McElroy is great he answers emails in a timely matter even on weekends. I know they probably used to get annoyed with me calling all the time Lol. But I was just curious to what is going on with my case. Nicole, Ed’s secretary is great. She always responds back to my emails in a timely matter as well and even checks up on things with me from time to time. Barry recently became my mother and cousins Lawyer do to a bad accident they were involved in as well. I would highly recommend this firm. Thanks guys 🙂"

Mr. Zaslow is truly the best.

"The loss of my husband due to malpractice was and is devastating, Daryl took on our case and said, “Unfortunately I can’t bring your husband back but I can make sure that you will be ok financially,” and that is what he did , with compassion and dedication and always made feel like he had time for me, I never felt rushed or unimportant, I cannot say enough about how professional yet caring this office has treated me . Mr. Zaslow is truly the best at what he does and I can’t say enough about his secretary who not only kept me informed but listened to me during the most painful time of my life , all I can say is what a great team . Thank you Daryl for helping me . Thank you Heather for listening."

~ C.C.

Eichen Crutchlow Zaslow, LLP
5.0
2018-10-31T17:44:24+00:00

~ C.C.

"The loss of my husband due to malpractice was and is devastating, Daryl took on our case and said, “Unfortunately I can’t bring your husband back but I can make sure that you will be ok financially,” and that is what he did , with compassion and dedication and always made feel like he had time for me, I never felt rushed or unimportant, I cannot say enough about how professional yet caring this office has treated me . Mr. Zaslow is truly the best at what he does and I can’t say enough about his secretary who not only kept me informed but listened to me during the most painful time of my life , all I can say is what a great team . Thank you Daryl for helping me . Thank you Heather for listening."

Daryl Zaslow went to bat for him

"When, at age 44 my son suffered a massive Ischemic stroke, my greatest concern was how he would be able to live a normal life without the use of his speech and his arm. Daryl Zaslow went to bat for him and through his tireless efforts, his medical knowledge and his sincere concern for my son, Mr. Zaslow secured for my son a future not only without financial worries, but with hope and happiness. There are no words to express the thanks of our family to a great lawyer."

~ Client

Eichen Crutchlow Zaslow, LLP
5.0
2018-10-31T17:48:36+00:00

~ Client

"When, at age 44 my son suffered a massive Ischemic stroke, my greatest concern was how he would be able to live a normal life without the use of his speech and his arm. Daryl Zaslow went to bat for him and through his tireless efforts, his medical knowledge and his sincere concern for my son, Mr. Zaslow secured for my son a future not only without financial worries, but with hope and happiness. There are no words to express the thanks of our family to a great lawyer."

Very very pleased with the service and professionalism.

"Very very pleased with the service and professionalism of this law firm. I really felt that my case was very important to them and went to every length to achieve the best outcome possible. Or attorney really went to bat for me and his staff was very professional and courteous. Highly recommended. Thank you again for a great outcome !!"

~ M.M.

Eichen Crutchlow Zaslow, LLP
5.0
2018-10-31T17:51:39+00:00

~ M.M.

"Very very pleased with the service and professionalism of this law firm. I really felt that my case was very important to them and went to every length to achieve the best outcome possible. Or attorney really went to bat for me and his staff was very professional and courteous. Highly recommended. Thank you again for a great outcome !!"

This is a 5 star firm.

"Great firm took me right in and sat with me and understood my case, unlike other attorneys I had seen. This is a 5 star firm."

~ Client

Eichen Crutchlow Zaslow, LLP
5.0
2018-10-31T18:04:32+00:00

~ Client

"Great firm took me right in and sat with me and understood my case, unlike other attorneys I had seen. This is a 5 star firm."

I would highly recommend his firm.

"Mr. Eichen handled a motorcycle accident for me in 2002, as well as various other cases since that time. I have permanent injuries from that accident and he was able to resolve my case for the full policy limits and get me compensation as quickly as possible. I would highly recommend his firm."

~ Client

Eichen Crutchlow Zaslow, LLP
5.0
2018-10-31T18:07:23+00:00

~ Client

"Mr. Eichen handled a motorcycle accident for me in 2002, as well as various other cases since that time. I have permanent injuries from that accident and he was able to resolve my case for the full policy limits and get me compensation as quickly as possible. I would highly recommend his firm."
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