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Placenta praevia

The UK NSC policy on Placenta praevia screening in pregnancy

Policy

 
Type Antenatal
Last review completed December 2013
Next review due in 2016/17
Policy recommendation     Systematic population screening programme not recommended, clinical practice guidelines covered by NICE
 

A national screening programme for placenta praevia is not recommended.

Policy for the assessment of placental location, risk of placenta praevia and its management pathway is currently addressed by the RCOG and NICE.

 
Key downloads Last external review
 

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 Placenta praevia

Placenta praevia is when the placenta lies too low in the womb (uterus) after 20 weeks of pregnancy.

» Read more about placenta praevia from the Royal College of Obstetricians & Gynaecologists

» Also see the UK NSC policy on vasa praevia

Why is screening not recommended by UK NSC?

Assessment of the position of the placenta is an established part of the routine 18 – 20+6 week ultrasound scan and if it is low the woman will be recalled later in pregnancy for monitoring. The Royal College of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists (RCOG) and NICE provide guidance for health professionals.

In light of this, the UK NSC does not feel that a formal screening programme for placenta praevia is warranted.

Patient information is available from the RCOG.

Policy stakeholders

Royal College of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists
Society and College of Radiographers

The stakeholder groups will be involved when the policy is next reviewed. If you think your organisation should be added, please contact us. 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.

Related documents

icon Summary and consultation responses for placenta praevia and vasa praevia (PDF document, 349KB, 19/12/13)

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