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Birth Defects

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The King and the Scratched
Diamond
• Once there was a king, who had a beautiful,
large pure diamond. There was no other
diamond like it in the world. One day, it
became deeply scratched. The king called
his best diamond cutters, “I’ll promise you a
great reward if you can remove the
imperfection from my jewel.” But they
could not. The king was very upset.
• Many months later, a man
came to the king. He
promised to make the
diamond even more
beautiful than it ever had
been. Impressed by the
man’s confidence, the king
consented. He watched as
the man engraved an
exquisite rosebud around
the blemish and used the
scratch to make its stem.
--A parable of the Preacher of Dubno from
Jewish folklore.
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Birth Defects
• This story can easily be equated to birth
defects. Even though a child with a
birth defect may not appear to be
perfect, he/she still has great abilities
and opportunities to apply
himself/herself in life. Rather than
emphasizing the problem, we must
focus on the abilities of the person
Birth Defects
• There are three basic
factors that influence
birth defects:
• Heredity
• Environment
• A combination of
heredity and the
environment.
Birth Defects
Hereditary
DOWN SYNDROME
(Mongolism)
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• Caused by three
instead of two of the
21st chromosomes.
Characterized by
slanting eyes, broad
hands, with short
fingers and a short
broad skull.
PHENYLKETNURIA(PKU):
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• A deficiency of the
enzyme necessary to
convert protein. May
cause severe
retardation in late
childhood.
SICKLE CELL ANEMIA
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• Found mainly among
children in African
American families.
Creates defective red
blood cells and effects
8-10% of the African
American population.
TAY-SACHS DISEASE
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• The person has defective
eyes and gradual blindness
with a severe loss of
weight. Found mainly
among children of JewishEastern European origin.
This defect affects the
central nervous system
and finally causes death.
HEMOPHILIA
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• The blood does not
clot normally. It is
found only among
males. Females may
transmit the disease
but do not suffer from
it.
Birth Defects
Environmental
Nourishment
• The baby receives
nourishment through
the placenta
• Anything the mother
takes into her body
the baby gets too!
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Drugs
п‚Ј No drugs should be taken by
a pregnant woman, unless
prescribed by a physician.
п‚Ј 90% of over-the-counter
drugs available have never
been tested for their effects
on the unborn.
п‚Ј No pregnant woman should
take any illegal drug
because of the high rate of
birth defects.
п‚Ј Men planning for future
fatherhood, should not use
illegal drugs because of the
effect upon the sperm.
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Prescription Drugs
• What prescription
drugs can a
pregnant woman
take?
• Tylenol, Advil,
Aleve?
• ALWAYS ASK
YOUR DOCTOR
FIRST!
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Crack & Cocaine
п‚Ј Prematurity, neonatal
intoxification and withdrawal,
decreased alertness, and an
increase of SIDS.
п‚Ј Symptoms in the baby
include: jitteriness, excessive
crying, increased appetite,
extreme irritability.
п‚Ј Long term effects include
learning disabilities, behavior
problems and Attention
Deficit Disorder.
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Tranquilizers
п‚Ј Diazepam, Valium are
examples.
п‚Ј The baby will go
through withdrawals for
8-10 days.
п‚Ј Effects on baby:
lethargy, respiratory
difficulties, apneic spells
(breathing problems),
can’t regulate
temperature, hypotonia
(muscles), and failure to
suck effectively.
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Phencyclidine
(PCP, Angeldust)
п‚ЈFetal effects:
growth retardation,
developmental
delays.
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п‚ЈWithdrawal may not
be apparent until 5-7
days after birth.
Narcotics
(Heroin, Methadone)
п‚Ј Heroin and Methadone
effect the baby
differently.
п‚Ј Both go through intense
withdrawal but at
different time periods.
п‚Ј Withdrawal in infants
can be life threatening.
п‚Ј Tremors, restlessness,
insomnia, increased
sucking reflex, and a
high pitched cry.
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Marijuana
п‚Ј Marijuana crosses the
placenta and is also
found in breast milk.
п‚Ј Small birth weight and
decreased learning
ability.
п‚Ј Alcohol with marijuana
increases the potency
of the alcohol.
п‚Ј May cause extremity
deformities.
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Alcohol
• Drinking alcohol, any kind and any time, during your
pregnancy may be harmful.
• If you drink while pregnant, your baby will be at risk
to be born with
FETAL ALCOHOL
SYNDROME
•
FETAL ALCOHOL SYNDROME is caused by drinking alcoholic beverages while
pregnant. The cause of this birth defect is considered to be “environmental”.
Fetal Alcohol Syndrome (FAS)
– Leading cause of mental
retardation, or some degree
of mental disability
– Short attention span
– Hyperactivity
– Social and behavior
problems
– Abnormally small at birth
– Small head circumference
– Small, widely spaced eyes
– Flat mid-face
– Thin upper lip and
underdeveloped jaw
Smoking
• Low birth rate
• the more a woman
smokes, the smaller her
baby will be.
• Increases the risk of
Sudden Infant Death
Syndrome
• Increased risk of
spontaneous abortion, fetal
death, low implantation of
the placenta, premature
separation of the placenta,
bleeding and pre-term
delivery.
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