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Amniocentisis is a test used to obtain information about a fetus and the probability of having a genetic disorder. It involves passing a needle through the abdominal wall under local anaesthetic. Ultrasound is used to ensure that the needle is passed safely straight through the abdominal wall and wall of the womb into the amniotic fluid. A sample of fluid is then removed to be used to test for any disorders. The results may take 10-14 days as any cells from the body need to be cultivated before they can be analysed.

SCBU(Special Care Baby Unit) is a specialist part of the hospital staffed by a team of doctors and nurses experienced in the care of sick and small babies. Generally speaking your baby will be looked after in this unit for the duration of his/her stay in hospital. A good example of this is at North Cumbria Acute Hospital.

Cesarean Section or C-section is a surgical method of deliveriing babies through an abdominal incision in the womb.

Clingfilm/Plastic wrap is wound around the exomphalos when the baby is born, this is to protect the wound and avoid dehydration and damage to the wound. It also cuts down the chance of infection while the baby is stabilised and a decision is made on the next step.

Cordocentesis is the extraction of a blood sample from the umbilical cord. This test can be carried out late in pregnancy, between 18 to 24 weeks. It is carried out in women who are at a higher risk of chromosomal/genetic abnormalities.

Chromosome A rod like structure present in the nucleus of all body cells (with the exception of the red blood cells) which stores genetic information. Normally, humans have 23 pairs, the unfertilised ova and each sperm carrying a set of 23 chromosomes. On fertilisation the chromosomes combine to give a total of 46 (23 pairs)

Primary Repair/Closure Depending on the size of the exomphalos /omphaolcele/gastroschisis a decision may be made to return the contents of thesac to the abdomen in one opeartion and close the wound, this is a primary reapair or closure.

NG tube or NGT or Nasogastrictube is a long clear plastic tube inserted into the stomach via the nose or mouth. It has a number of uses including: removal of fluid and air from the stomach, to give medicine or food, to take a sample of stomach fluids for analysis, removal of blood or fluids from the stomach.

Spinal Block. A spinal block is a single injection of local anaesthetic given between two vertebrae in the lower spine. It is quicker to perform than an epidural but the effect does not last as long. Some hospitals offer it routinely instead of an epidural for caesareans. Others reserve its use for situations where there is not time to site an epidural and where a general anaesthetic might be inadvisable.

TPN (Total Parental Nutrition) provides complete artifical nutrition and bypasses the stomach, delivering processed nutrients directly into the blood via a thin tube. For short periods of time (1/2 weeks) this will probably be done using veins, but for longer term an central line may be used.

Ultrasound scans are images of the internal organs created from sound waves. The images are produced when the sound waves are directed into the body then reflected back to a scanner that measures them.