New panel could help answer questions on stillbirth, miscarriage, and neonatal death

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WAUSAU, Wis. (WSAW) -- Experiencing a miscarriage, stillbirth, or neonatal death can be devastating. It can leave parents with a lot of questions, like will it happen again or can it be prevented? A new panel may now be able to help answer these questions.

Dr. Elizabeth McPherson, Medical Geneticist and Director of the Wisconsin Stillbirth Service Program, and PreventionGenetics Laboratory Director Dr. Diane Allingham-Hawkins joined Sunrise 7 on The Doctor Is In segment to talk about the problems many families face and details on PreventionGenetic's Comprehensive Miscarriage, Stillbirth and Neonatal Death panel.

McPherson said “Couples who experience these kinds of challenges are compelled to seek answers to questions like whether the event will happen again and if it could it have been prevented. Genetic testing can sometimes open the doors to answers.”

According to PreventionGenetics, 15 percent of clinically recognized pregnancies are miscarriages. About 1 in 160 pregnancies in the U.S. are stillbirths, and neonatal deaths happen to about four million families globally. A large percentage, including 50 percent of miscarriages are due to abnormalities of the developing fetus, often including a genetic component. This new genetic testing will help figure out why the deaths occurred.

Those who have experienced multiple miscarriages or still births could be eligible for this panel. People must talk with their doctor in order to get the testing. To learn more, watch the video, which will be posted shortly after the broadcast.