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SAHMRI Women and Kids

Omega-3 status test for prematurity risk

SAHMRI Women and Kids

SA Pathology and the South Australian Health and Medical Research Institute (SAHMRI) are partnering to offer omega-3 testing for women with singleton pregnancies, as part of the South Australian Maternal Serum Antenatal Screening (SAMSAS) program. This will identify women who will benefit from omega-3 supplementation and appropriate advice to reduce their risk of early birth.

Updated National Health and Medical Research Council National Pregnancy Care guidelines recommend assessing omega-3 fatty acid status and supplementing pregnant women with low omega-3 intakes. The SAMSAS-SAHMRI collaboration will evaluate the feasibility and reach of the omega-3 screening.

Further information is available for:


Information for Health Professionals

Omega-3 blood sample and cost

No additional blood sample is required as omega-3 analysis will be performed on serum collected as a part of the established SAMSAS program. The omega-3 fatty acid analyses will be performed at no cost to the patient or health service.

How to order the omega-3 status test?

  1. Discuss the omega-3 status test and refer woman to the Information for Families sheet.
  2. Order using the updated SAMSAS request form. 
  3. Tick the omega-3 status test on the SAMSAS request form.
  4. Refer woman to the Privacy Disclosure on the SAMSAS request form.
  5. The omega-3 status test results will be reported to the requesting provider as a standalone report and will be available on OACIS.

For more information, please download the following brochure:

Information for Health Professionals: Omega-3 status test for prematurity risk (PDF 757KB)

Information for Health Professionals: Omega-3 status test for prematurity risk (PDF 757KB)

Watch

Information for Midwives
Information for Requesting Providers


Information for Health Professionals


Evidence Background

Contact us

For further information about omega-3 testing and results interpretation, please visit SA Pathology.

To order the maternal serum screening test request forms, please call the SAMSAS Program on (08) 8161 7285.

Email: omega3@sahmri.com 
Phone: 0438 273 155


Information for Families

Why omega-3 screening?

Omega-3 fats are nutrients commonly found in fish and algae. The right amount of omega-3 in your body during pregnancy can help you have a full-term pregnancy. Babies born too soon (premature), particularly those born before 34 weeks of pregnancy, may have lengthy stays in hospital and may experience long-term health problems and delays in development.

Women expecting one baby who have low omega-3 levels in their blood are at higher risk of having their baby born prematurely. They are most likely to benefit from omega-3 supplements. Women who have sufficient omega-3 levels are already at lower risk of having a premature baby and so should not take additional omega-3 supplements. Screening for omega-3 levels before 20 weeks of pregnancy will identify women who require omega-3 supplements and those who will not. We do not yet have a screening test for women expecting twins or triplets.

Blood collection

Your health professional will give you the SA Maternal Serum Antenatal Screening (SAMSAS) request form to take to a blood collection centre. Your omega-3 level will be measured using the blood already collected for the SAMSAS program. The test is provided free to families.

For more information, please download the following brochure:

Information for Familes: Omega-3 screening to help prevent premature births (PDF 1.6MB)

Information for Familes: Omega-3 screening to help prevent premature births (PDF 1.6MB)

Watch

Video: Omega-3 status test for prematurity risk
Information for Families: Omega-3 status test for prematurity risk

Contact us

Email: omega3@sahmri.com 
Phone: (08) 8128 4444

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Adelaide 5000
South Australia

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PO Box 11060
Adelaide 5001
South Australia

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SAHMRI is located on the traditional lands of the Kaurna people.

The SAHMRI community acknowledges and pays respect to the Kaurna people as the traditional custodians of the Adelaide region. We also acknowledge the deep feelings of attachment and the relationship of the Kaurna people to their country. We pay our respects to the Kaurna peoples' ancestors and the living Kaurna people today.