Causes Of Fetal Alcohol Syndrome

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Fetal Alcohol Syndrome is a series of birth defects such as physical, mental, behavioral and learning problems caused by the mother drinking alcohol during pregnancy. Kenneth Jones and David Smith at the University of Washington in Seattle officially identified Fetal Alcohol Syndrome in 1973 (Golden 1). The exact reasons certain fetuses are affected and others are not, is not fully understood. CDC reports state that 0.2 to 1.5 per 1000 babies are born each year in the United States with alcohol related birth defects (CDC 1). Fetal Alcohol Syndrome can be prevented with education. Even small changes in education and behavior can reduce the risk of women giving birth to babies with fetal alcohol syndrome. Women have been drinking for years…show more content…
Some babies are born with growth deficiencies due to the alcohol consumption during pregnancy. They are short in length, under weight, and have small heads (Wong). Facial abnormalities include small eye openings, drooping eyelids, skin folds across the inner corners of the eyes, a flattened or missing bridge of the nose, underdeveloped philtrum, thin upper lip, cleft lip, and cleft palate (Wong). There are major organ defects, especially of the heart such as septal defects, tetralogy of Fallot, and patent ductus arteriosus (Wong). They may have problems with their respiratory system such as apnea, pulmonary hypertension and SIDS. Renal abnormalities include aplastic, dysplastic, hypoplastic kidneys, horseshoe kidneys, ureteral duplications, and hydronephrosis (Wong 844). They may have joint and limb abnormalities. Some of the skeletal abnormalities are restriction of movement, altered palmar crease patterns, hypoplastic nails, shortened digits, radionulnar synostosis, flexion contractures, pectus excavaum and carinatum, Klippei-Feil syndrome, hemivertebrae, and scoliosis (Fry-Johnson 42) . Malformation of the Eustachian tube, conductive hearing loss and nuerosensory hearing loss are some auditory defects. They tend to have chronic ear infections. They have a tendency to be more susceptible to infections (Wong…show more content…
O'Connor in the American Journal of Drug and Alcohol abuse, children with fetal alcohol syndrome may show cognitive and attention deficits, increased activity levels, problems in inhibition and state regulation, perseverative behavior, and expressive language and motor problems. These problems may last into and throughout adulthood. They may have difficulties such as bonding in infants and depression in 4-6 year olds. There have been reports of depression, anxiety, psychosis, somatic complaints, delinquency, hyperactivity and sleep disorders. O'Connor also reports in a study done on 473 people that were prenatally exposed to alcohol 44% were diagnosed with major depressive disorder, 40% had psychotic disorders, and 20% had bipolar disorders(Women's Health1). Studies on prenatal alcohol exposure and relation to IQ show varying severities. It was noted that some children for unknown reasons are more susceptible than others to the effects of alcohol. An article in Journal of School Health by Jennifer H. Green reports on a review of studies done showing an average IQ for people with fetal alcohol syndrome at 65.73 with a range of 20-120 (Green 1). Fetal alcohol syndrome is a preventable problem. The public needs to be educated on the effects alcohol can have on an unborn child and that no amount of alcohol is safe during pregnancy. The effects from alcohol ingestion during pregnancy can range in severity and last a lifetime. Healthcare worker

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