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Clement PPN (pre and post natal) Detector, England, 1975-1980

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The Pre and Post-Natal (PPN) Detector was developed by Dr Michele Clements. She was an ear, nose and throat specialist in the early 1970s. The PPN Detector monitored and measured hearing levels in the developing foetus (post 18 weeks). It also checked limb movements, heart rates and breathing rates in newborns. The device could also detect potentially harmful conditions at the earliest possible stage. These ranged from minor hearing problems to significant brain damage. This type of screening became known as the Clements method. The machine stimulates the foetus with amplified sounds in the uterus. The response of the foetus is monitored. The machine was an effective diagnostic tool. It involved the mother, who appreciated its non-invasiveness. Clements’ invention was not mass manufactured on a commercial level. However, several hospitals in the UK used it. Each machine cost £3,500.

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Glossary: uterus

The hollow reproductive organ in female mammals. The uterus is where the foetus develops after conception. The word 'womb' is often used among non-medical people to refer to the same area.

Glossary: pre and post natal detector

Diagnostic instrument designed by Michele Clements to detect pre and post natal hearing and limb movements, heart rates and breathing rates in newborns

Glossary: prenatal screening

Tests carried out to estimate whether a foetus is developing typically or shows signs of a possible medical condition.