Fetal Alcohol Syndrome


is characterized by a cluster of congenital birth defects that include prenatal and postnatal growth deficiency. There is also facial abnormalities including small head circumference; flatten mid-face sunken nasal bridge; flatten and elongated philtrum. There is some central nervous system dysfunction and varying degrees of major organ system malformations. FAS is now recognized as the leading cause of mental retardation in the western world, but the important thing about FAS is that it is totally preventable.
First off keeping track of FAS is crucial to its prevention by which this is a national health priority. Diagnosing FAS is no simple task, because diagnosis is based primarily on ...

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expertise in recognizing dysmorphic features. This is only because a child with FAS their features may change over time and age. However, the clinical recognition and reporting is improving, but on the other hand improvements can become troublesome by clouding the true changes in the rate of FAS over time. Tracking and collecting data is hard to do because first the patient has to be diagnosed and a continuing follow-up must be done; if not this could and would cause problems.
There has been two programs of surveillance which includes FAS. The first program is the BDMP which relies on reported hospital discharge diagnosis of newborns. This program started monitoring FAS after 1979 when the (ICD) International Classification of Disease, introduced a code (760.71) that could be applied to the syndrome. The second program is (MACDP) Metropolitan Atlanta Congenital Defects Program) which came about in 1968 and is the oldest active program in the country today. The program monitors ...

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allowed a comparison of their rates of diagnosis. 38 percent of the FAS cases diagnosed by the longitudinal study also were diagnosed by the MACDP. This could indicate a lack of clinical recognition, a failure to record finding in the medical record, the use of variable criteria for the case definition or a combination of all of these by the MACDP program. Another bias that occurs is that FAS may be recognized and recorded in medical records at different rates in different populations.
It has been estimated that 75 percent of all recorded cases of FAS in the MACDP came from a large inner-city that serves the poor and uninsured. The inner-city hospital reported 88 FAS cases out of ...

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PAPER DETAILS
Added: 12/2/2004 11:09:45 AM
Category: Health & Medicine
Type: Free Paper
Words: 4419
Pages: 17

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