Percutaneous umbilical blood sampling (PUBS) and intrauterine transfusion (IUT) are techniques used to sample the baby’s blood to evaluate and to treat specific fetal problems. PUBS involves using ultrasound to direct a needle through the mother’s abdomen and uterus and into the vein in the baby’s umbilical cord to obtain a sample of the baby’s blood. IUT is done when the PUBS shows that the baby has anemia (low blood count) and it involves transfusing blood through the needle in the baby’s umbilical cord to treat the anemia while the baby is still in the uterus.
Fortunately, the need for either of these procedures is rare now as medical breakthroughs such as Rhogam for preventing RH disease and middle cerebral artery (MCA) Doppler to assess for fetal anemia have been introduced. Because these procedures are required less often, it is important to find providers who have experience in these procedures. NTPA physicians have years of experience with PUBS/IUT and work diligently to maintain their skill level to make the procedure as safe as possible for the mothers and babies who require it.