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Fetal Alcohol Syndrome

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Ximena Cespedes

on 6 January 2013

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Transcript of Fetal Alcohol Syndrome

What is it? Fetal Alcohol Syndrome (FAS) is a condition that results from alcohol exposure during pregnancy. When a mother drinks alcohol during pregnancy, a child may experience growth, mental, and physical problems. The problems caused by FAS vary from child to child, but defects caused by FAS are irreversible. How does it happen? When you're pregnant, any alcohol that is consumed enters your bloodstream and reaches the fetus through the placenta. A fetus metabolizes alcohol more slowly than an adult; therefore, his or her blood alcohol concentration is higher than yours. Alcohol may also interfere with the delivery of oxygen and nutrition to the baby's developing tissues and organs, including the brain.
What are some risks? No "safe" level of alcohol use during pregnancy has been established. Larger amounts of alcohol appear to increase the problem. Binge drinking is more harmful than drinking small amounts of alcohol. Timing of alcohol use during pregnancy is also important. Alcohol use appears to be the most harmful during the first 3 months of pregnancy; however, drinking alcohol during any time during pregnancy can be harmful. What are the some symptoms? A baby with fetal alcohol syndrome may have the following symptoms: - poor growth while the baby is in the
womb and after birth - decreased muscle tone and poor
condition - delayed development and problems in
three or more major areas: thinking,
speech, movement, or social skills What are some symptoms? - heart defects such as ventricular
septal defect or atrial septal defect - problems with the face including narrow, small eyes with large epicanthal folds
small head
small upper jaw
smooth groove in upper lip
smooth and thin upper lip How common is fetal alcohol
syndrome? It is the leading cause of mental retardation in the United States. In the United States, about 2 babies out of every 1,000 babies have fetal alcohol syndrome. How have statistics changed
throughout the years? FAS was discovered in the late 1970's In 1979, 1 in every 1,000 babies had FAS
In 1985, 2 in every 1,000 babies had FAS
In 1989, 3 in every 1,000 babies had FAS
The greatest spike occurred in In 1993, when about 7 in every 1,000 babies were afflicted with FAS.
However, by raising awareness, only 2 in every 1,000 babies have FAS.
How can it be tested for? As the baby grows, there may be signs of delayed mental development. Doctors cannot diagnose fetal alcohol syndrome before the birth of a child. If it is made known to the doctor that a mother consumed alcohol, the doctor will assess:
- growth
- facial features
- heart health
- hearing
- vision
- cognitive ability
- language development
- motor skills
- behavior What are treatments for FAS? There's no cure or specific treatment for fetal alcohol syndrome Parents often benefit from counseling to help the family with a child's behavioral problems. Learning problems may be helped by special services in school Heart abnormalities may require surgery The physical defects and mental deficiencies typically persist for a lifetime How can one prevent FAS? Fetal alcohol syndrome is 100% preventable. Women might want to consider giving up alcohol during their childbearing years if they are having unprotected sex.
Women who struggle with alcoholism should should seek help and have a doctor monitor their pregnancies.
Women who are pregnant or who are trying to get pregnant should avoid drinking any amount of alcohol.
Fetal Alcohol Syndrome A presentation by Ximena Céspedes and Michele Correggio
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