Royal College of Surgeons in Ireland Coláiste Ríoga na Máinleá in Éirinn

Professionals

Information on all aspects of medical care for the pregnant woman, together with advanced gynaecological services, can be accessed through the RCSI Department of Obstetrics and Gynaecology.

General Practitioners, midwives and obstetricians are frequently asked by patients for information about, and access to, a range of tests and treatments.

One of the most common concerns voiced by women once a positive pregnancy test is obtained is the question "is my baby healthy?" Unfortunately, both information and access to appropriate ultrasound scans and tests can be difficult for many pregnant women to obtain in a timely manner.

Detailed information on various obstetric ultrasound, prenatal screening, and prenatal diagnosis tests that are commonly requested during pregnancy is available here.

Expertise in these subspecialist obstetric areas is maximised by being at the forefront of clinical research in this field. The RCSI Department of Obstetrics and Gynaecology is recognised internationally for its leadership in the area of obstetric ultrasound, prenatal screening and prenatal diagnosis.

Some of the latest innovations in early pregnancy screening tests for fetal abnormalities have been advanced internationally by the RCSI Fetal Medicine Centre at the Rotunda Hospital. Recent publications in the world's leading research publications, such as the New England Journal of Medicine and the American Journal of Obstetrics and Gynecology, attest to this depth of expertise.


Standards and Quality Assurance in Obstetric Ultrasound and Prenatal Diagnosis:

Obstetric ultrasound tests are optimally performed by sonographers working under the direct supervision of consultant obstetricians or radiologists who have received advanced training in these tests. The commonly accepted specialist training required of obstetricians to perform and interpret these tests optimally is Fetal Medicine.

In most Western countries, obstetric ultrasound tests are performed and interpreted by a team, including a sonographer and a specialist consultant physician. In most countries it would be very unusual for an ultrasound scan to be performed by a sonographer or technician, without a physician either participating in the actual scan, or at the very least, reviewing and interpreting the images and report.

The ethos of the RCSI Fetal Medicine Centre is to replicate such international best practices in Ireland, ensuring that all obstetric ultrasound scans are performed by highly trained sonographers, together with the close involvement of consultant specialists in Fetal Medicine. By following carefully designed protocols for practice, and by participating in external quality assurance systems, obstetric ultrasound and prenatal screening tests are performed to the highest possible standards.