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ADVANCING PRACTICE Advancing maternal age and trisomy screening: the practice challenges of facilitating choice and gaining consent

Maria Birt

Community midwife at Worcestershire Acute Hospitals NHS Trust

 (June 2016)

Antenatal screening for chromosomal anomalies such as Trisomy 13, 18 and 21 (Patau’s, Edward’s and Down’s syndrome, respectively) is offered to all pregnant women in the first two trimesters. This article explores the varying considerations of consent for this type of screening, particularly in relation to women of advancing age who are at increased risk of carrying a pregnancy affected by a trisomy. The practical challenges or barriers of gaining valid, meaningful informed consent are discussed.