Coronavirus (COVID-19) update
Due to the ongoing coronavirus situation, our unit is reducing the number of patient visits to our hospital. Therefore we will not be offering early scans (12-14 weeks gestation) as part of our screening programme at this time.This will include first degree family history and high nuchal patients.
We will continue to book routine 20-21 week scans for all patient groups, however, this is being reviewed daily.
If there should be any concerns regarding possible congenital heart disease at any stage of pregnancy, please refer in the usual way as ‘suspected CHD’. These referrals should also be emailed to our admin team via our nhs.net email: email@example.com to enable swift action/booking.
At this time, patients can only bring one person with them to their appointment and no children will be allowed into the department. We will not be arranging appointments at 12-14 weeks until further notice.
- We will not be arranging appointments at 12-14 weeks until further notice.
- We are continuing to book routine 20-21 week scans at this time.
- Patients can only be accompanied by one other person. Those who attend with more than this risk being turned away.
- Children cannot attend our unit until further notice.
Read our latest information on coronavirus.
Who can refer
We accept referrals from GPs, obstetricians and midwives.
How to refer
For a referral to fetal cardiology assessment please download the referral form (PDF 294Kb) and email it to firstname.lastname@example.org. You can also return the completed form to the postal address in the green contacts box on this page. Referral forms must be legible and fully completed for the referral to be accepted. Incomplete forms will cause a delay to providing the necessary care to your patient.
Reasons for fetal heart scanning
Frequent reasons for referral to our unit include:
concerns about the baby's heart at the routine antenatal scan
an abnormal heart beat in the baby
a family history of congenital cardiac disease (heart problems that are present at birth) in either parent or in a previous child
diabetes mellitus of the mother
if the mother is on medication for example medicines for epilepsy or depression
a scan performed in earlier pregnancy showed an increased amount of fluid behind the baby's neck (raised nuchal translucency)
other abnormalities have been detected in the baby
You can also see a detailed list of indications for fetal heart referrals n(PDF 86Kb).
Timing of fetal heart scanning
We are able to offer detailed scans of the fetal heart as early as 13 weeks, depending on the reason for referral. This means we can provide early diagnosis or reassurance well in advance of standard 'anomaly scans'.
The most usual time for detailed scanning of the fetal heart is at 18-22 weeks of pregnancy and in many cases only a single scan is necessary. However follow-up scans will be required if the first scan is performed 14-17 weeks and for some referral indications. Full counselling and support is provided if a problem is detected.