I am so terribly sorry to hear about the tragic loss of your precious daughter! I too lost a child to vasa previa - a son, back in 1996 and was told the same thing. Back then it was more or less true - they didn't ever bother to look for it, nobody ever did back then. So almost all vp babies died. As you have discovered, that is not the case these days. Many vasa previa babies are prenatally diagnosed. According to the more than 2,000 records in our files, that diagnosis combined with appropriate management results in 100% infant survival. Unfortunately it isn't standard of care to rule out vasa previa.
You can have vasa previa more than once. We have several documented cases of repeat vp in our records. It is not common to have it more than once, but it isn't common to have it even one time. Because vasa previa develops as a low lying placenta moves up, you have the same chance of having vp again as you had the first time. Attached are the IVPF recommendations on testing and management of vasa previa. It is very important that you make sure they visualize the placental cord insertion during every routine ultrasound. This is not always done even though it is routine to check the cord insertion into the baby's belly button. Doctors used to say that it was impossible to visualize the placental cord insertion, but this is not true. Several large studies have proven that not only is it possible more than 98% of the time, but that it takes less than 60 seconds to do so, even with black and white ultrasound. If it were me, I would absolutely insist on this during your routine scan. I did when I was pregnant with my next child. As I mentioned, it is not standard of care to include this during your regular scan, but it will show if you have velamentous cord insertion.
If you have a low-lying placenta, bilobated placenta, or velamentous cord insertion, you should be followed up with transvaginal color Doppler ultrasound. This is the gold standard for diagnosing vasa previa. Doctors used to refuse to do this test since vasa previa is rare (1:2500). Howdver, undiagnosed babies die from vasa previa. Its not a high level scan and is definitely worth insisting on if you have risk factors.
I can't tell you how sorry I am to learn of the loss of your daughter! Please accept my deepest condolances.
Cindy Paris, Co-Founder and Member, Board of Directors,
International Vasa Previa Foundationhttp://IVPF.org