Breakthrough blood test determines Downs - 14 News, WFIE, Evansville, Henderson, Owensboro


New blood test for Down's syndrome

A new breakthrough blood test determines Down's syndrome in a non-invasive way.

Anna Reid, 35, is pregnant with her sixth child. 

"I have a six-year-old, a five-year-old, a three-year-old, a two-year-old, and a 10-month-old," she says.

The special needs pre-school teacher tells us with her latest pregnancy, her doctor suggested getting a new type of blood test called Cell-free DNA testing

The newly FDA-approved screening has a 99-percent accuracy in determining if the baby has Down's syndrome. 

"I would want to be prepared if my child has Down's or anything else wrong with that child.  I would hope that I could be prepared for that to welcome them into the world," says Reid.

MetroHealth Medical Doctor Stephen Meyers says the test is groundbreaking. Blood is drawn from the mother's arm.  DNA is tested to see if the baby has normal chromosomes. The screening is non-invasive, unlike the traditional amniocentesis, where fluid is taken from the uterus.

Meyers says it's more comprehensive, but, there's a risk of miscarriage. 

"We're offering this test to patients at risk, and the risk might be advanced maternal age, over age 35. The risk might be an abnormality that might be identified on an ultrasound examination," says Meyers.

Reid says her test shows Baby Number Six is healthy. 

"We would like 12 altogether," she adds. "We're halfway there. We would like to have six more."

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