Information for Health Care Professionals

ACOG Practice Bulletin 88
In December 2007, ACOG Practice Bulletin 88 was published with clinical management guidelines for obstetrician-gynecologists. The Bulletin states: After the diagnosis of a chromosomal abnormality, the patient should receive detailed information, if known, about the natural history of individuals with the specific chromosomal finding. In many cases, it may be very helpful to refer the patient to a genetic counselor or clinical geneticist and national groups such as The National Down Syndrome Society (www.ndss.org) or National Down Syndrome Congress (www.ndsccenter.org) to help the patient make an informed decision.

Additional ACOG guidance
"Ob-gyns need to be well-informed about Down syndrome so that they can provide their patients with accurate information and relevant resource referrals so that they can make informed decisions." ~ Press Release, ACOG'S Screening Guidelines on Chromosomal Abnormalities What They Mean to Patients and Physicians (May 7, 2007)

Recommendations for delivering prenatal results indicating a risk of Down syndrome

• Be informed about the opportunities and potentials of persons with Down syndrome and avoid giving outdated information.

• Inform patients of all reasons for testing including reassurance, advance awareness, and adoption.

• Deliver diagnostic results in person.

• Use sensitive language for delivering diagnosis. Avoid over-emphasis on possible problems.

• Staff should also communicate in a manner that is sensitive, accurate and consistent.

• Patients should not be pressured into selecting pregnancy termination.

• Offer the CWA Down Syndrome Brochure and other materials listing Down syndrome resources.

National Down Syndrome Congress - Statement on Prenatal Screening and Diagnosis
See http://www.ndsccenter.org/resources/position1.php