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How is fetal blood sampling performed?

Fetal blood sampling, also known as PUBS (percutaneous umbilical blood sampling), is the collection of a small amount of blood from the fetus during pregnancy. Fetal blood sampling is an outpatient procedure but involves a number of hours in the outpatient setting. The procedure is done under ultrasound guidance and the technique is similar to an amniocentesis. The mother's abdomen is cleaned with an antiseptic solution, and the umbilical cord is visualized. A thin needle is inserted into a fetal blood vessel of the umbilical cord. When the needle is in place, a blood sample is removed. Once the needle is in the vessel it can also be used to administer medications or a blood transfusion, if necessary. Once the procedure is completed the mother will need to rest and have the fetal heart rate monitored and the uterus assessed for contractions for several hours. In addition post procedure care includes monitoring for sign of bleeding, infection or change in fetal activity.

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Important: This content reflects information from various individuals and organizations and may offer alternative or opposing points of view. It should not be used for medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. As always, you should consult with your healthcare provider about your specific health needs.