Happy Anniversary for Down Syndrome Prenatal Testing

DSPTThis blog was launched on November 12, 2012. Here’s why I launched the blog, the most viewed post from the past year, a post needing some more views, and a request if you’ve found this blog useful over the past year.

  1. Why I launched the blog: I had been writing and presenting at conferences on the issues associated with prenatal testing for Down syndrome since 2008. In 2010, a colleague encouraged me to start a blog. Then, in 2012, I purchased and read cover-to-cover Michael Hyatt’s book Platform on a flight to a medical conference . It made having a blog not only doable, but mandatory if you cared to speak out on important issues. Hyatt’s blog post “Launch a Self-Hosted WordPress Blog in 20 minutes or less” walked me through the basics of launching the blog. Shortly thereafter, I enlisted the expert help of Killer Creative to redesign the look of the site and they have been helping ever since in improving the blog. I share all of this in case any of you are similarly interested in launching your own blog. If I can do it, you can, too.
  2. The most viewed post: In 2012, the most viewed post is: “Your MaterniT21 test is NEVER positive.” No doubt, this is partly due to Sequenom, the maker of MaterniT21, still having the largest market share of cell free DNA (cfDNA/NIPS) screening. And, quite possibly, it’s because that post turns up on the first page of results when you Google “MaterniT21.”In the first year, the most viewed post was”So many choices, what does each do & how much do they cost?” Maybe it was because that post has a handy chart comparing the four non-invasive prenatal screening (NIPS) tests. Maybe it was because that was what many googling “down syndrome prenatal testing” are looking for. And, maybe it was because a site in Germany linked to that post. Whatever the reason, day in and day out, it remains one of the top visited posts. I have updated it with a link to the lessons learned about NIPS in the two years since it launched.
  3. A post not-so-often-visited: While I enjoy seeing the thousands of views that “MaterniT21 is NEVER positive” receives and that “So many choices” still receives, there are other posts at the other end of the spectrum. Very likely, this post did not get much attention because it was posted three days after the blog launched and the readership was just in its infancy. So, to show an equally-deserving post some love, feel free to click on “What materials did your OB give you about Down syndrome?” and leave a comment if so inclined.
  4. Most commented posts: With each passing year, the blog receives increasingly more views, with many of these views being from expectant mothers receiving a test result. Below are links to posts that have received some of the most comments. I find replying to these comments to be one of the most rewarding aspects of this blog as it presents an opportunity to help expectant mothers who were seeking reassurance only to be met with uncertainty and, too often, incorrect information about their test results and Down syndrome.
    When cell-free DNA isn’t (far and away the most-commented-on post)
    What are the odds that you are having a child with Down syndrome? (easily the most viewed post)
    Noninvasive prenatal testing for Down syndrome: 99% malpractice (third-most commented-on post).
  5. A request: If you have found this blog useful over the past year, then I’m very glad. I began serving as the bioethics specialist for the National Center for Prenatal & Postnatal Down Syndrome Resources in September 2013. This blog and the Center are wholly-independent of one another. The Center provides the resources recognized by professional medical organizations to be provided to expectant mothers. If you have found this blog helpful, then let me ask for your help in supporting the National Center. All donations are tax-deductible and can be made securely on-line at this link. When asked to donate, I often give in increments of $21 to recognize the genetic cause for Down syndrome, but you’re welcome to contribute any amount and any amount will be much appreciated.

Thank you for accompanying me during these past years of the blog. Your continued support and interest encourages, sustains, and motivates me to keep posting.

Comments

  1. Thank you for raising awareness on these important issues.

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