The UK NSC policy on Down's syndrome screening in pregnancy
|Last review completed
|Next review due in
|| Systematic population screening programme recommended
Screening should be offered to all pregnant women.
The only substantial change made during the 2011 review was that the cut off threshold for all strategies at all stages of pregnancy has been agreed to be set at 1 in 150 at term and this must be implemented from the 1 October 2011.
What is screening?
Screening is a process of identifying apparently healthy people who may be at increased risk of a disease or condition. They can then be offered information, further tests and appropriate treatment to reduce their risk and/or any complications arising from the disease or condition.
It is important to ensure that the benefits and downsides of screening have been properly thought through. The UK National Screening Committee (UK NSC) is responsible for reviewing screening policies every 3 years and making recommendations to ministers in the 4 UK countries about whether to not a screening programme for a certain condition should be set up.
» Find out more about screening, the role of the UK NSC or the policy review process
More about Down's syndrome
Down's syndrome (or 'Down syndrome'), a chromosomal disorder, occurs when, instead of the normal complement of two copies of chromosome 21, there is a whole, or sometimes part of an, additional chromosome 21.
Chromosome abnormalities give rise to specific physical features seen in Down's syndrome. The range of cognitive disabilities as well as other attributes is enormously wide in Down's syndrome. The majority are in the mild range of cognitive ability. Associated defects may include ear and/or eye defects, an increased propensity for infections and heart defects.
» Read more about Down's syndrome on the Contact a Family website
Screening in the UK
Compare how screening is offered across the UK.
• Down Syndrome Research Foundation UK
• Down's Syndrome Association
• Down's syndrome Medical Interest Group
• Royal College of General Practitioners
• Royal College of Midwives
• Royal College of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists
The stakeholder groups will be involved when the policy is next reviewed.
If you think your organisation should be added, please
More about the policy review process, including the role of stakeholders,
can be found in the guide to Engaging with the UK NSC's policy review process.
Second trimester quadruple testing for T21 in twins (PDF document, 85KB, 16/07/14)
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