Fetal Alcohol Syndrome Essay

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Fetal Alcohol Syndrome

Fetal Alcohol Syndrome is an increasing problem in our world today. At least 5,000 infants are born each year with FAS, or about one out of every 750 live births, which is an alarming number. In the United States there has been a significant increase in the rate of infants born with FAS form 1 per 10,000 births in 1979 to 6.7 per 10,000 in 1993 (Chang, Wilikins-Haug, Berman, Goetz 1). In a report, Substance Abuse and the American Woman, sent out by the Center on Addiction and Substance Abuse, at least one of every five pregnant women uses alcohol and/or other drugs during pregnancy (http:/www.nofas.org/stats.htm). Fetal Alcohol Syndrome (FAS) refers to a group of physical and mental birth defects that are the
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As stated before FAS is the leading cause of mental retardation. There may be mild to severe growth retardation including decreased birthweight and head circumference in addition to continued growth retardation for height, weight and head circumference. Children with FAS fail to ever catch up in growth during the preschool years and have a tendency to remain thin even though there is adequate nutrition. These children often have anomalies and deformed facial features such as short palpebral fissures, flat midface, thin upper lip, indistinct philtrum, epicanthal folds, low nasal bridge, minor ear anomalies, micrognathia, strabismus, ptosis of the upper eyelid, narrow receding forehead, and a short upturned nose (Hess and Kenner 2). In broader terms the face of a FAS child includes a small head; a small maxilla which is the upper jaw; short, upturned nose; smooth philtrum which is a groove in the upper lip; smooth and thin upper lip; and small slightly narrow eyes with noticeable epicanthal folds (http://www.adam.com/ency/article/0009111.sym.htm). In the American Journal of Public Health and article called Tobacco and alcohol use during pregnancy and risk of oral clefts, described a study conducted to examine the relationship between alcohol consumption during the first trimester of pregnancy and oral clefts (Lorente, Cordier, Goujard and Ayme 1). First of all during the 6th through

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