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Fetal Alcohol Syndrome - Research Paper Example

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Fetal Alcohol Syndrome Cover Page Your Date Introduction Of all the preventable birth defects and developmental disorders, Fetal Alcohol Syndrome is the most common. Having a devastating impact on the children that must bear its burden for the rest of their lives, this disease ravages individuals and society alike…
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Download file to see previous pages Given the frequency of this disorder, it is one that all medical professionals should be familiar with. What is Fetal Alcohol Syndrome? Fetal Alcohol Syndrome—the number one preventable cause of birth defects and developmental disorders in the United States—was first given its name in 1973 (Warren, Hewitt, & Thomas, 2011). Though there had been many instances of women drinking during pregnancy, the symptoms caused in the fetus and child hadn’t been a focus of study. It occurs in .5 to 7.0 cases per 1,000 births in this country (Warren et al., 2011). Subcategories of the syndrome have also been identified to describe disorders of lesser severity. These include partial Fetal Alcohol Syndrome, Fetal Alcohol Effects, alcohol-related birth defects, alcohol-related neurodevelopmental disorder, and fetal alcohol spectrum disorders (Warren et al., 2011). “Partial Fetal Alcohol Syndrome” describes some of the same features as Fetal Alcohol Syndrome but does not require all of the same diagnostic criteria to be met (Warren et al., 2011). The term “Fetal Alcohol Effects” is used when symptoms of maternal exposure are present but not severe enough to meet criteria for Fetal Alcohol Syndrome (Warren et al., 2011). ...
Clearly, alcohol has the capacity to impact the fetus on many levels and with a multitude of possible manifestations. Although Fetal Alcohol Syndrome falls within the range of fetal alcohol spectrum disorders, the term encompasses many other varieties of the disorder. When taking the entire range of fetal alcohol spectrum disorders into account, these disorders are estimated to occur in 1 percent and possibly many more births (Warren et al., 2011). Though there is a spectrum of severity amongst fetal alcohol disorders, Fetal Alcohol Syndrome is the most profound (Warren et al., 2011). Obviously, all of these disorders have a profound impact on the sufferer, no matter what diagnostic label is chosen. It goes without saying that the pregnant woman’s use of alcohol will harm the fetus to some degree. There are a variety of factors contributing to the degree of damage maternal alcohol use exerts on the fetus (Davis, Desrocher, & Moore, 2011). First, the quantity of alcohol consumed by the mother will determine the level of alcohol in the blood stream of the fetus, and the regularity or pattern of maternal consumption also plays a role (Davis et al., 2011). If a mother consumes alcohol during the first trimester of pregnancy, the development of brain cells is disturbed, while third trimester exposure damages areas of the brain structure (Davis et al., 2011). Indeed, the amount, timing, and duration of alcohol use determines the severity of the disease (Larkby & Day, 1997). Another factor that affects the severity of damage done to the fetus relates to the mother’s genetics, which determine in part the body’s rate of metabolizing alcohol as well as sensitivity to it (Davis et al., 2011). The fetus that inherits sensitivity to alcohol based on ...Download file to see next pagesRead More
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