The role of Obstetricians, Gynecologists and Midwifes in primary prevention of the Hemoglobinopathies

In countries where the protocols for Hemoglobinopathy prevention have been successfully implemented the role of obstetrician gynecologists and midwifes have been fundamental (click here to look at prevention results). Prevention strategies have shown a high degree of compliance and are ethically and socially accepted. Primary prevention begins with basic information and carrier diagnostics either at the pre-conception stage (usually started by the general practitioner) or in early pregnancy (by routine analysis of the mother at 10 weeks of gestation or earlier).
A simple routine analysis is sufficient to exclude the carrier status for HbS, HbE, HbC, HbD, b- and eventually a-thalassemia in the mother and to rule out the risk for major Hemoglobinopathy in the child. If the mother results to be carrier a rapid analysis of the father in an experienced laboratory is necessary. If only the mother is a carrier no risk for major Hemoglobinopathy is present. If both parents are carrier, prenatal diagnosis can be offered to the couple at risk by chorion villi analysis from the 11th week of pregnancy. (Click here to look at the strategy scheme).