Sarah Gets Medevac’d

AsiaForeign Service LifeHealth/BeautyTravel
April 19, 2011

So last week I had the chance to go on my first-ever Medevac for the Foreign Service.  The term sounds a little scary and that’s because usually it is just that – A Medical Evacuation.  Medevacs are used when appropriate Medical care for your condition cannot be garnered at post (and by appropriate they mean something on par with what you’d get in the States).  Each region has a Medevac hub (in our case Singapore), where the Regional Medical Office is available to assist with these extraordinary cases.

Thankfully, my Medevac was for a routine pregnancy test that would be standard in the States but is not performed in the Philippines.  The test is called the First Trimester Scan and is used to screen for potential genetic defects.  The Philippines bans this test because they believe if you knew that your child had a genetic defect then you would want to abort it.  Never mind the fact that abortions are illegal here too.  Doesn’t make a ton of sense to me but fits in with what I know of the Catholic church’s influence here.

So on to the test!  The Doctor spent nearly an hour scanning the baby from head to toe using the Ultrasound machine.  He literally went part by part and made sure every finger, toe and limb was accounted for.  The scan could also get pictures of the baby’s internal organs, so we also checked for each organ system as well.  It was wicked-cool to see the baby’s heart up on the screen and have the doctor point out the 4 chambers to me!  He was also able to see bone structures (like the curve of the spine) and rule out any skeletal disorders.  Oh, and then there was the blood systems too, where he pulled up this picture of red and blue veins surging through the baby’s body.  Can I just say that I am AWED by technology?

This process was sooo calming for a first-time Momma like me.  Not only was I assured that my baby had every bone and organ it needed, but that it also had a mere 1 in 12,000 chance of having a genetic abnormality!  I’ll also be a tease and tell you that I got an 80% confirmation of what the gender should be, but I’m not telling until it’s 100% certain…  :)

So that was my first-ever Medevac experience!  Thanks to the US Government for assuring that we get access to top-quality care overseas!  Our growing family greatly appreciates it.

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  1. Becky says:

    I’m so glad everything looks good. Nothing quite like seeing your little one in progress. I agree, technology is pretty awesome.

  2. Daniela says:

    So relieved to hear you weren’t medevac-ed because of a problem. It’s great you were able to confirm everything is OK with the baby and even learn the gender! How cool is that! I can’t wait to hear if it’s a boy or a girl.

  3. Sara says:

    So glad it went well. It’s actually not routine to have an extensive scan like that in the first trimester. It’s part of the triple screen that is elective. In the States, typically the first extensive scan isn’t done until around 20 weeks! Maybe it’s done differently in different parts of the country. You can feel so lucky that you got to see everything so early! And then look forward to another big scan at 20 weeks to determine the sex of the baby. A bit of advice if you don’t want to know the sex: wear ear plugs because Dr. Bautista at Makati Med who Dr. Hensen refers you to is a loud mouth and blurted out the sex of our second when we didn’t want to know. We will be wearing ear plugs this next one!!!

    So glad everything is looking great. What a cute little nose your baby has in that photo!

  4. Sarah Novak says:

    Sorry to scare you! I can’t wait to know the gender either! Should be soon…

  5. Sarah Novak says:

    Oh, I didn’t realize it was elective! Shows what I know as a first-time Mom! :) Thanks for keeping me up-to-date. No worries for us about the gender – we want to know!

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