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Arkansas Fetal Diagnosis and Management

Shannon Barringer by Shannon Barringer, MS, CGC
Program Manager, Arkansas Reproductive Genetics Program / ANGELS

The Arkansas Fetal Diagnosis and Management Program enrolled 79 new families into our program during the past three months. These families are carrying babies with birth defects or genetic diseases requiring specialized case management and intervention. At the urging of our patients/families, a social media site has been developed so that past and current patients can share advice, encouragement, and their stories with each other. This site has enabled many of our families to develop new friendships and bonds to help them navigate all of the medical care that many of their children need. It also provides support for those of our families who have lost their babies. In addition, we would like to highlight examples of AFDM’s care of some of our families this Spring:
•    We have delivered five babies with neural tube defects (spina bifida), who are now receiving care and treatment through the Spina Bifida Program at Arkansas Children’s Hospital.
•    We collaborated with the International Skeletal Dysplasia Registry (ISDR) at UCLA to make the prenatal diagnosis for a baby with a rare form of dwarfism.
•    Our team is in the final stages of our Stillbirth Protocol development, which will allow our affected families to have additional testing to determine the causes for their losses, at little or no expense to them.