Top Doctors 2010: The Evolution
Medicine keeps moving forward, thanks to practitioners such as these.
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“When it comes to patients, my job is to be an educator and an advocate and to make sure that they get the best care possible,” says Anthony Sciscione, director of the Delaware Center for Maternal and Fetal Health of Christiana Care since 2006.
The center cares for women whose pregnancies are considered to be high-risk, which can mean everything from pre-term labor and multiple gestations to a mother who has diabetes or is simply over age 35. Sciscione estimates that the classification applies to as many as 40 percent of the 7,000 births that take place at Christiana each year.
The primary way most of those women encounter the center is through its imaging services, which are among the most advanced in the region. Targeted sonography, for example, allows for a detailed physical exam of the baby’s anatomy at early gestational ages. It is even possible via ultrasound to diagnose anemia in a baby so that a life-saving blood transfusion can be done in utero.
Sciscione, who also directs the OB/GYN residency program at Christiana Hospital, describes himself as the sort of person who will not settle for less than excellence. His goal is to make Delaware a premier site for state-of-the-art obstetrical care, both because of the doctors and staff, and because of the imaging, medical and surgical options available to women. He is pursuing—and attaining—grants for participation in several maternal fetal health studies, including one for a recent study by the National Institutes of Health on fetal growth curves. Christiana was one of only five hospitals selected in the country.
“We are now starting to get a national reputation. We are getting referrals from out of state, including those who in the past would have been sent to Johns Hopkins or Penn,” Sciscione says.
He points to several areas in maternal fetal health where Delaware is making strides, including increased availability of first-trimester fetal screenings for chromosome abnormalities and structural defects, and access to fetal echocardiography, which allows for the diagnosis of heart problems in utero.
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