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Patients & Visitors


NIPT Tests

The SAFE Test - a non-invasive prenatal screening test

What is the SAFE test?

The SAFE test is a non-invasive prenatal test (NIPT) for pregnant women and people which estimates the risk of the fetus having Down's, Edwards' or Patau's syndrome. The SAFE test is an advanced screening test that is carried out on a small maternal blood sample. Pregnant women and people can expect test results to be available within 7-10 calendar days from sample receipt.

Pregnant women and people who have had a High chance 1st /2nd trimester screening result are eligible for a free NHS NIPT.

The RUH also offer a private NIPT service. Please contact us on the number provided below to discuss the costs

What does SAFE screen for?

The SAFE test estimates the chance of a fetus having Down's syndrome (Trisomy 21), Edwards' syndrome (Trisomy 18) or Patau's syndrome (Trisomy 13). Trisomies occur when three, instead of the usual two, copies of a chromosome are present. Edwards' and Patau's syndromes are much rarer than Down's but are very serious and many babies that have one of these conditions do not survive.

Who can have the SAFE test?

  • Suitable for pregnant women and people who are at least 10 weeks pregnant
  • Suitable for all singleton and twin pregnancies
  • Suitable for IVF or surrogate pregnancies
  • Unsuitable for pregnant women and people with cancer or with a trisomy or who have undergone a blood transfusion within the last 3 months

SAFE test results

Our maternity screening department will call you with the results from the test.

Where can I get a SAFE test?

You can contact our Maternity Screening Department:

For more information on NIPT tests, please follow this link:

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