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Fetal Alcohol Syndrome

Fetal Alcohol Syndrome In one week 10,000 babies are born in Canada. Twenty are born with Fetal Alcohol syndrome (FAS). One hundred with other alcohol related birth defects. FAS is most often described as the leading cause of mental retardation. FAS is not genetic or inherited and is %100 preventable.

Fetal Alcohol syndrome refers to a constellation of physical and mental birth defects that may develop in individuals whose mothers consumed alcohol during pregnancy. It is an organic disease that is characterized by central nervous system involvement, growth retardation, and characteristic facial features. Prenatal alcohol exposure also causes malformation of major organs including heart, kidneys, and liver. Fetal Alcohol Effect is very similar to FAS, with the same range of neurological problem but with out the characteristic facial features. FAE occurs two to three times more frequently the FAS. Characteristics of children with FAS include: Text Book Characteristics Justin Low birth weight 5lbs 6 ounce full term Small head circumference Undetermined Failure to thrive Small for age Developmental delay Delay in gross motor and speech Organ dysfunction So signs of organ dysfunction Epilepsy No signs of epilepsy Poor coordination/fine motor skills Delay in gross motor and speech Poor socialization skills, such as difficulty building and maintaining friendships and relating to groups Despite poor communication skills Justin was very sociable and affectionate with Joanne and myself. Lack of imagination or curiosity Very curios of new toys.

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Learning difficulties, including poor memory, and inability to understand concepts such as time and money Unable to determine at 10 months of age. Facial abnormalities, including smaller eye openings, flattened cheekbones, and indistinct philtrum. Smaller eye openings noted Behavioral problems, including hyperactivity, inability to concentrate, social withdrawal, stubbornness, impulsiveness, and anxiety. Arching of back noted when upset. Poor language comprehension, poor problem-solving skill Unable to determine at 10 months of age Alcohol is a teratogen, meaning that it is a substance that can damage and disrupt the developing embryo or fetus. The brain and the central nervous system of the unborn child are particularly vulnerable to prenatal alcohol exposure. Alcohol is lipid soluble like most other drugs and passes freely across the placental barrier and into the fetal bloodstream.

In the fetus, the alcohol must be metabolized by the immature and poorly developed liver of the fetus. The alcohol stays in the fetus’s body for a prolonged time even after leaving the mother’s body. The unborn child remains intoxicated, possibly suffering withdrawal symptoms after the alcohol is no longer present. Bibliography References Paul Szabo, M.P. March 2000, Fetal Alcohol Syndrome, The Real Brain Drain. Ministry of Health, Ottawa, Ontario Adele Pilliteri PhD, RN, PND, (1995).

Maternal and Child Health Nursing. 2nd Ed, JB Lippincott Company Philadelphia. Porth, C.M. (1998) Pathophysiology: Concepts of Altered Health States. (5th ed).

New York: Lippincot.

Fetal Alcohol Syndrome

.. a spotty memory, where they may remember, for example, something that happened a year ago, but cannot remember the day before. In addition, they have an inflexibility of thought, where a person with the syndrome can only understand a concept expressed in one way. Once that concept has been learned that one way, it is hard for the individual to understand it in any other context. A difficulty in predicting outcomes is another disability shared by FAS victims. For example, a child with FAS might not be able to foresee what will happen when he knocks over a cup of juice.

A child with FAS often tends to make the same mistake repeatedly. Another disturbing trait shared by FAS affected people are a difficulty distinguishing fact from fantasy. A person with FAS could be watching a movie and go on thinking that what is going on in the movie is actually going on in real life. People with FAS also have an alarming difficulty distinguishing friends from strangers: they may meet someone once for about five minutes and already consider them a friend, which could be potentially dangerous(Nevitt 26-8). Fetal Alcohol Syndrome/Fetal Alcohol Effects babies are very stressful and require lots of caring and understanding. Nevitt summed up many of the difficulties of a parent of a baby that is FAS because there are many unique problem associated with FAS.

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Nevitt states, such as FAS/FAE babies do not thrive as well as normal babies; they have poor reflexes, and at times they have no appetite. It can sometimes take hours to feed a FAS baby four ounces of milk (21). Fetal Alcohol Syndrome/Fetal Alcohol Effects people require supervision and stern guidance throughout life. As Dorris says, FAS caretakers must provide a structured environment to the Fetal Alcohol Syndrome/Fetal Alcohol Effects person. Any violation must be corrected on the spot, and consistency is a must. Clear and simple instructions that are set in stone is what works best (247).

The reasons for so much supervision for Fetal Alcohol Syndrome/Fetal Alcohol Effects people is clear, without supervision and a good and understanding caretaker life would be very hard and unfair for an Fetal Alcohol Syndrome/Fetal Alcohol Effects person. Tanner-Halverson says, FAS adults need a structured environment to do well and live a productive life. Adult FAS need guidance because they are still easily distracted and forgetful (1B). At this time there is no known cure for Fetal Alcohol Syndrome and Fetal Alcohol Effects (NOFAS 2A). The best that society can do is prevention of Fetal Alcohol Syndrome and Fetal Alcohol Effects by educating and informing everyone and anyone who will listen on the adverse effects alcohol can have on babies and society. The medical field is the most important community to educate for the obvious reason that they are the people who will detect and treat Fetal Alcohol Syndrome and Fetal Alcohol Syndrome babies (NOFAS 1A). The next group we should target is the educators, and teach the countrys educators the when, where, what, why, and how to handle a Fetal Alcohol Syndrome or Fetal Alcohol Effects person. Educators in our elementary and high schools should be able to educate our children on the effects of alcohol on the fetus, due to the rising rate of teen pregnancies (The Arc 2C).

As stated by Patricia Tanner-Halverson, Keys to working successfully with Fetal Alcohol Syndrome/Fetal Alcohol Effects children are structure, consistency, variety, brevity and persistence. The next group we should target is the women who are at risk for having children with Fetal Alcohol Syndrome/Fetal Alcohol Effects and inform and educate them on the dangers of drinking while pregnant. Show them the consequences and the unnecessary hardships that their baby may have to endure due to her drinking alcohol. Education along with intervention and assistance from the community is what will help stop FAS/FAE. By providing support groups for women who are alcoholic and pregnant, support groups for parent, foster parents, and caretakers of Fetal Alcohol Syndrome/Fetal Alcohol Effects people.

The government could do much more for Fetal Alcohol Syndrome/Fetal Alcohol Effects people. Government could require that people in the medical field be trained for so many hours on the subject of Fetal Alcohol Syndrome/Fetal Alcohol Effects. Education of the medical field is very important (Fetal Alcohol Syndrome Public Awareness Campaign 1979 206). Allocating monies and giving grants for research and care of Fetal Alcohol Syndrome/Fetal Alcohol Effects people. More research is needed to fine out if other drugs can cause Fetal Alcohol Syndrome/Fetal Alcohol Effects (The Arc 2C).

If at all possible intervention to prevent alcohol from affecting the fetus should happen as early as possible, the first trimester is when most damage is though to occur. Which makes intervention as early as possible the best chance of stop Fetal Alcohol Syndrome/Fetal Alcohol Effects from happening to the unborn child. To help prevent Fetal Alcohol Syndrome/Fetal Alcohol Effects the father of the unborn child must also be educated on the possible results of the effect alcohol could have on the baby. It would be a lot easier for the pregnant woman to refrain from drinking if the father did not drink during the pregnancy. Armed with the knowledge of the effects of Fetal Alcohol Syndrome/Fetal Alcohol Effects perhaps he would provide more support to the expectant mother. Fetal alcohol exposure has life long effects and consequences that are not restricted to any one race or socio-economic group.

Fetal Alcohol Syndrome/Fetal Alcohol Effects does not go away, brain damage is permanent, and birth defects are also permanent. Metal retardation is permanent and irreversible, behavioral problems are permanent; all of these problems associated with Fetal Alcohol Syndrome/Fetal Alcohol Effects are forever and once alcohol has done the damage there is no recovery. However, through education we can beat Fetal Alcohol Syndrome/Fetal Alcohol Effects by educating and assisting women who are of the childbearing age. Simply put, if youre pregnant dont drink. If you need help to quit there are people waiting to help.

Works Cited Abel, Ernest L. Fetal Alcohol Syndrome. Oredell, New Jersey: Medical Economics, 1990 British Columbia FAS Community Action Guide. British Columbia: 1997. Chasnoff, Ira, J. Drugs, Alcohol, Pregnancy and Parenting.

Boston: Kluwer Academic, 1988. Dorris, Michael. The Broken Cord. New York: Harper & Row, 1989. The Arc, Facts about alcohol use during pregnancy.

1997 http://www.thearc.org/faqs/fas (26 May 1998). NOFAS, Fetal Alcohol Syndrome is the name given to a group of physical and mental birth defects that is the direct result of a womans drinking alcohol during pregnancy. 1997 http://www.nofas.org/what.htm (26 May 1998). Nevitt, Amy. Fetal Alcohol Syndrome. New York: Rosen, 1996 Shaskin, Rana.

Fetal Alcohol Syndrome/Effects. Vancouver: 1994. Tanner-Halverson, Patricia. Strategies for parents and Caregivers of FAS and FAE children. 1997 http://www.nofas.org/strategy.htm (26 May 1998). United States. The Fetal Alcohol Syndrome Public Awareness Campaign 1979.

Progress Report Concerning The Advance Notice of Proposed Rulemaking on Warning Labels on Containers of Alcoholic Beverages and Addendum. Washington: Department of Treasury, 1979 English Essays.

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