Cordocentesis is a highly specialized prenatal test in which a fetal blood sample is removed from the umbilical cord and tested for genetic problems, infections, or anemia (low blood cell count). This procedure can be done at 18 weeks of pregnancy or later. Cordocentesis is also known as percutaneous umbilical blood sampling (PUBS), umbilical vein sampling, and fetal blood sampling.
Cordocentesis carries a risk of miscarriage and isn't generally used unless the results are a matter of life and death or permanent disability. Still, the test occasionally plays an important role in prenatal care. A key benefit is speed. Results are usually available within 72 hours — in some cases, in as little as two hours. Also, cordocentesis can be used to deliver blood transfusions and medication to the baby through the umbilical cord.
The physicians at RPG have been specially trained to perform these procedures, should they be necessary.