New Guidelines: All Pregnant Women To Be Screened For Down Syndrome - KLTV.com - Tyler, Longview, Jacksonville |ETX News

1/4/06-Tyler

New Guidelines: All Pregnant Women To Be Screened For Down Syndrome

When Lindy Arteaga was pregnant with her now eight year old daughter Marcella, she knew she was at risk of having a child with Down Syndrome. She was 36 years old at the time, and her doctor suggested an amniocentisis.

"We knew there was a risk, and Gilbert, he just wasn't really thrilled about the idea of having one at all.  I'm a very emotional person and knowing things ahead of time helps me deal with situations," says Lindy.

Weighing the pros and cons of an amnio is a difficult decision for many women, but now, Dr. Stephanie Carl of Trinity Clinic says there are safer procedures available.

"We now have some tests that can be done with a combination of ultra sound and just blood work that can give us about an 80% probability if the baby may have a problem such as Down Syndrome," says Carl.

Dr. Carl says she offers all of her patients this option, regardless of age, but warns that the test is not covered by insurance in most cases.

For the Arteaga's, knowing ahead of time that Marcella did have Down Syndrome helped them to be better parents once she was born.

"We cried, and then we went straight to Barnes and Noble that afternoon, and started going through the books on Down Syndrome and seeing what we needed to do in order to be prepared once she got here," says Lindy.

Thanks to that preparation, Marcella is flourishing both at home and in school .

Lindsay Wilcox/Reporting  lwilcox@kltv.com 

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