How the Fetal Intervention Workshop at Westmead Hospital is fostering advances in Maternal Fetal Medicine

Dr Roshini Nayyar, Head of Maternal Fetal Medicine at Western Sydney Local Health District (WSLHD), has been at the forefront of groundbreaking developments in fetal medicine for over two decades.

With a background in obstetrics and gynaecology, Dr Nayyar’s journey into the specialised field of high-risk pregnancy has led her to spearhead initiatives aimed at improving prenatal care and interventions for expectant mothers and their unborn babies.

Recently, Westmead Hospital hosted an important event to shed light on the evolving landscape of fetal medicine and equip medical professionals with advanced skills in prenatal diagnosis and intervention techniques.

The Fetal Intervention Workshop not only marked a significant milestone for Westmead Hospital but also set a precedent as the first of its kind in Australia and New Zealand.

“Fetal medicine is a new construct driven by the introduction of ultrasound technology,” Dr Nayyar said.

With the increasing capabilities of imaging technology, we can now detect and address fetal abnormalities and conditions earlier than ever before.

Fetal intervention allows for a number of treatments, ranging from minimally invasive procedures to complex surgeries performed in utero.

This covers a spectrum of interventions ranging from basic procedures like amniocentesis to more intricate techniques such as laser therapy for twin pregnancies with shared placenta.

One of the key objectives of the Fetal Intervention Workshop was to facilitate hands-on training for these interventions using simulation models.

“Simulation allows practitioners to refine their skills in a controlled environment, ensuring optimal outcomes for both mother and baby,” Dr Nayyar said.

Trainers were encouraged to attend the workshop, not only to enhance their own skills, but also to gain insights on effectively training new staff and peers in the intricate techniques of fetal intervention.

However, organising such an event posed its own set of challenges.

The success of the workshop not only garnered positive feedback but also laid the groundwork for future endeavours in fetal intervention training.

Dr Nayyar envisions an annual event that not only serves the local community but also extends its reach to neighbouring regions.

Our ultimate goal is to establish Westmead Hospital as a hub for fetal intervention training, contributing to advancements in maternal fetal medicine on a global scale.

Looking ahead, Dr. Nayyar remains steadfast in her commitment to advancing prenatal care and fostering collaboration among healthcare professionals.

“I am immensely grateful for the support and dedication of everyone involved in making the workshop a success.”