Researchers from the Leiden University and Erasmus medical centers were awarded a grant to further develop their 3D-printing technique to correct gaps in the backs of fetuses afflicted with by spina bifida. Professor Dick Oepkes of the LUMC and Alex Eggink of Erasmus created propose a minimally invasive procedure during early stages of pregnancy to print a watertight seal directly upon the unborn child, closing off the spine and nerves.
The number of diseases and medical conditions newborns are tested for should increase from 17 to 30, says the Netherlands health council, NOS reports. The council, known as the Gezondheidsraad, finds that broadening the "hielprik", a Guthrie test that screens a blood sample taken from a baby's heel, is relevant since new treatments have emerged in the past few years for a number of rare diseases.
The introduction of the 20-week ultrasound resulted in a significant decrease of abortions in a later phase. Since 2007 the 20-week ultrasound is standard procedure, making it possible to decide a course of action in case the child has a severe birth defect.