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Fetal Care Center Opens to Treat High-Risk Births

The new Fetal Care Center at Washington University Medical Center brings together the expertise of Barnes-Jewish Hospital’s maternity center, St. Louis Children’s Hospital’s nationally ranked neonatal intensive care unit, and medical and surgical services from internationally recognized Washington University School of Medicine. The center’s goal is to provide families with a single, integrated approach to the complete continuum of care.

Services include evaluation, prenatal diagnostics, assessment, counseling, support services, post-natal care for mother and child, and a full range of fetal interventions and surgeries. The center is the only comprehensive facility in the Midwest that offers advanced fetal diagnostics, fetal surgical interventions before and after birth, and newborn medicine on one campus.

The center specializes in surgical treatment, both in-utero and after delivery, to correct many of the most complicated prenatal diagnoses. These include congenital heart defects, twin-twin transfusion syndrome, gastroschisis, omphalecele, and congenital diaphragmatic hernia.

The center provides moms with a personal nurse advocate who accompanies patients to appointments. Additionally, a multidisciplinary group of physicians involved in the mother’s and infant’s care meet with the mother to summarize test results and develop a consensus on the optimal health care plan.

Almost 10,000 of the 600,000 live births that occur each year in Missouri and the surrounding eight states have fetal anomalies that could be diagnosed and treated through the center.

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