September 1980

Great Expectations

Author Affiliations

Consultant Paediatrician Charing Cross Hospital London, England

Am J Dis Child. 1980;134(9):901-902. doi:10.1001/archpedi.1980.02130210077025

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London.—An obstetrician I have the good fortune to work with from time to time telephoned me with a curious and novel problem. A foreign lady, aged 31 years and expecting her first baby in about four weeks, had consulted him about her forthcoming confinement. Not having seen her previously, he quite properly arranged for her to have an ultrasound scan. Clinically, her condition was unremarkable, but the scan showed a large swelling on the anterior abdominal wall of the fetus, correctly interpreted as highly suggestive of an exomphalos, omphalocoele, or gastroschisis. The scan had been performed in a highly respected department by experts using the latest equipment. The question now was—or rather, the questions now were—what further investigations should be made, should she be delivered after an induction or by an elective section two or three weeks before term, and how much should he tell the parents?

Prenatal detection