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Fetal Alcohol Syndrome
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Fetal Alcohol Syndrome is considered to one of the leading cause of preventable birth defects and developments delay in children. It is believed to be a medical diagnosis that refers to a set of alcohol related disabilities associated with the use of alcohol during pregnancy.

What Is Fetal Alcohol Syndrome

(a) Prenatal or Postnatal growth restriction

(b) Central nervous system involvement, such as neurological abnormalities, developmental delays, behavioural dysfunction, learning disabilities or other intellectual impairments and skull and brain malformations.

(c) Characteristic facial features like short eye slits, a thin upper lip, flattened cheek bones and an indistinct groove between the upper lip and nose.

Possible fetal alcohol effect indicates that alcohol is considered as one of the possible causes of a child’s birth defects. This term is used to describe children with prenatal exposure to alcohol, but only some foetal alcohol syndrome characteristics.

These may include reduced or delayed growth of the baby, single birth defects or developmental learning and behavioural disorders that may not be noticed until months or years after the child’s birth Alcohol is a known teratogen which can cause birth defects by affecting the growth and proper formation of the fetus’s body and brain.

Alcohol can damage the fetus throughout pregnancy, not just in the first trimester. When a pregnant woman drinks alcohol, it rapidly crosses the barrier of the placenta, producing equivalent concentrations in fetal circulation. The brain and central nervous system of the unborn child are especially sensitive to prenatal alcohol exposure.

Fetal Alcohol Syndrome Prevention and Treatment

Prevention is clearly the first line of defense against the effects of alcohol in pregnancy and should include the following.

Primary Prevention : actions that avert a health problem before it occurs. In the case of foetal alcohol syndrome, this would include informing the public particularly young the people, about the dangers of drinking during pregnancy during pregnancy and on a broader level, addressing determinants of health.

Secondary Prevention : actions that identify persons at risk. Strategies should include screening and early intervention programs and services for pregnant women and women of child bearing potential who may be at risk for having a child with fetal alcohol syndrome.

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