Pediatric Cardiology and Cardiac Surgery
Vol.26 No.2 2010 (125-130)

Akiko Goto

Kanagawa Children’s Medical Center, Yokohama, Japan


Improvements in ultrasound technology have enabled more fetal abnormalities to be found than ever before. First of all, what kind of information is initially given to the family is important. The first information given to the family plays a great role in the family’s acceptance of unexpected incidents and its ability to later raise the child cheerfully. That fetal abnormalities can be diagnosed in utero is fortunate for the doctor but not for the family. But medical staff must be always aware of informing families of bad news. Neutral medical staff such as health nurses, psychologists, social workers and genetic counselors will play an important role in helping families. Their main role is to sympathize with the family and understand the family as it is, and to reduce the burden on the family and wait patiently by taking additional time. Neutral medical staff provide support in understanding and accepting a genetic disorder. Besides medical staff, peer counselors are parents who help parents in need of care. There will be demand for such coordinators from now on.