Foetal Alcohol Syndrome: Doctors unaware of dangers

A NATIONAL survey of paediatric doctors reveals a worrying percentage of them are unaware of one of the major causes of preventable developmental delay in children.

A study published in the March edition of the Irish Medical Journal suggests that prenatal alcohol exposure may not be routinely considered in the evaluation of children with developmental delay by paediatric doctors in Ireland.

The national survey of paediatricians in Ireland regarding Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorders shows that 31% were unaware of them.

t also reveals that 17.3% regarded mild alcohol intake in the third trimester of pregnancy as safe although international studies show that no level is safe.

There is also a lack of data regarding the prevalence of FASDs in Ireland compared to other countries.

This suggests that these conditions may go undiagnosed here, despite recent studies that have found that 75-81% of expectant mothers in Ireland reported consuming alcohol during pregnancy.

This survey should be noted by every doctor and expectant parent in the country.

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