The majority of pregnancies are uncomplicated and result in the birth of a healthy baby.
However, there are occasionally problems suspected with the unborn baby and in these circumstances you may be referred for additional assessment by the fetal medicine team.
We aim to see urgent referrals to the fetal medicine team within three working days.
The fetal medicine team holds clinics within the antenatal clinic at The James Cook University Hospital and also at the Friarage Maternity Centre.
Meet the team
- Dr Vedrana Caric
- Dr Kumar Kumarendran
- Dr Karen Lincoln
- Dr Louise Michie
- Dr Sathyapriya Parthasarathy
- Kendra Exeley – lead ultrasonographer
As we are a teaching hospital there may be specialists in training, medical students, sonographers or student midwives working with us and observing the scan.
Fetal medicine midwives
The fetal medicine midwives will offer support to parents and help you to understand the implications of any diagnosis or treatment options.
They will talk to you about the results of any tests or procedures and liaise with other health care professionals involved in your care.
Our fetal medicine midwives are:
- Lorraine Le Clerc
- Patrisha Wood
- Parveen Nasir
- Jordan Wilson
Please do not hesitate to contact us with any questions or concerns you may have.
Contact us (non urgent enquiries)
Calls will be returned Monday to Friday between 9am and 5pm.
What happens when I am referred?
If you have an appointment with the fetal medicine team at South Tees trust, the following information will help prepare you for your visit.
During your appointment
Your partner will be able to attend the scan with you where the doctor will take a detailed medical and obstetric history and discuss the reason for your referral to the fetal medicine team.
A fetal medicine consultant will perform the ultrasound scan and will look carefully at the entire baby as well as the area of concern.
The consultant will take images of your baby during this time. The scan will usually take approximately 30 minutes, but sometimes longer depending on the position of the baby and the reason for referral.
Following your scan the consultant and the fetal medicine midwife may take you into another room where the findings of your scan will be fully explained and what this may mean for you and your baby.
You will have plenty of opportunity to ask any questions that you may have, it may be useful to make a note of any questions prior to your appointment. The team will also explain any further tests that you may be offered at this time.
As we aim to offer individualised counselling and support to our women it can make anticipating and planning appointment times difficult. Please be aware that delay may occur on the day that you attend, however every effort will be made to keep you informed of when you are likely to be seen.
Further tests and investigations
Whilst ultrasound provides us with a lot information about your baby it does not enable us to make a full diagnosis.
The following diagnostic tests may help further identify any genetic or chromosomal problems with your baby.
The most commonly used Fetal Doppler is the Umbilical Artery Doppler. This is a form of ultrasound examination of the cord which measures the resistance of fetal blood passing through the placenta.
Umbilical cords contain two arteries and one vein. Blood leaves the baby and travels through the arteries into the placenta. The vein is used to return blood from the placenta to the baby. Strength of blood flow indicates the strength of the baby’s heartbeat, as that is the force that drives the blood. It is used in the surveillance of fetal wellbeing.
Past medical research concludes the measurement of blood flow can predict a high-risk baby. Identification of such babies prompts early monitoring and treatment, reducing the risk of fetal death and other complications.
The Ductus Venosus is a small blood vessel in the baby’s liver connecting the umbilical vein to the vein entering the right side of the heart. Ultrasound examination of the blood flow through the Ductus Venosus allows the most accurate assessment of the heart function. It is used to assist us to determine the time of delivery for growth restricted babies.
Other specialist services
Whatever the outcome of your fetal medicine appointment, we are here to support you.
In certain cases it may be necessary for us to refer you to another specialist fetal medicine centre for further investigations.
We work closely with the Royal Victoria Infirmary in Newcastle Upon Tyne, referral to this centre may be made if a MRI scan of your baby (fetal MRI) is being considered, or if your baby may require surgery following delivery.
Twin pregnancies complicated by twin-to-twin transfusion are referred to St George’s Hospital, London for consideration of laser ablation.
We work closely as a team and discuss any new or complex cases each week in our multidisciplinary team meeting, along with our neonatal colleagues. This is to ensure that our patients receive the best care we can offer.