Fetal Alcohol Syndrome & Effects: A Continuing Education Offering
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Fetal Alcohol SyndromeFASis a disease acquired by infants born to women who drink alcohol during their pregnancy. This disease which is classified as a syndrome has many symptoms. FAS is diagnosed when the following signs are observed a Pre or postnatal growth retardation, below the 10th percentile b Central nervous system impairment and c Characteristic facial dysmorphology, with the following signs 1 microcephaly, 2 microphthalmia, 3 poorly developed philtrum, 4 flat maxillary area, and 5 thin upper lip. Fetal Alcohol Syndrome is identified to be one of the three most common causes of birth defects associated with mental retardation after Downs syndrome and neural tube defects. The most commonly accepted incidence for full fetal alcohol syndrome is 1-2 per 1000 live births, usually expressed as 1750 live births Cuttmacher, 1986. It is also the most preventable of the birth defects given its direct correlation to the quantity of alcohol consumption by pregnant women. From a social standpoint, alcohol abuse affects the ability to parent. Although the most common reason for excessive drinking is tension reduction, chronic alcohol use actually increases a mothers irritability, depression, and anxiety Mello, 1980. Combined with the fact that other frequent consequences of intoxication are aggression and decreased ability to gain from experience, the above suggests that alcohol abusing mothers are at risk for child abuse.
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