Newspaper article Evening Gazette (Middlesbrough, England)

How Drink Affects 20 Babies a Year; Boozing by Mums-to-Be Can Leave Children with Incurable Condition

Newspaper article Evening Gazette (Middlesbrough, England)

How Drink Affects 20 Babies a Year; Boozing by Mums-to-Be Can Leave Children with Incurable Condition

Article excerpt

Byline: JAMES CAIN Local democracy reporter

ONE in 100 babies is born with problems caused by mums-to-be drinking while pregnant.

And many of these babies will go on to be misdiagnosed with ADHD, a meeting has heard. While just one drink can cause harm, it is completely preventable but with no known cure.

Yesterday, Middlesbrough Council's Health Scrutiny Panel met to discuss the lack of understanding and awareness surrounding foetal alcohol syndrome disorder (FASD).

The panel heard FASD affects 1% of the population nationally and that - because the symptoms can be so similar to ADHD (attention-deficit/ hyperactivity disorder) - many children could be going misdiagnosed. Maria Catterick, founder and director of the FASD Network, said: "People can't really be diagnosed in isolation. You have to rule out other areas."

She said doctors and medical professionals routinely fail to rule out FASD before diagnosing a child with ADHD and, therefore, many children may be going misdiagnosed. The final report of Middlesbrough Council's Health Scrutiny Panel on FASD said: "There is no local study to document the prevalence of FASD in Middlesbrough but it is anticipated that it would be higher than 1% of all live births.

"There are approximately 2,000 children born each year in Middlesbrough which equates to 20 births per year or 1,300 cases from Middlesbrough's population figure. "Many children with FASD end up in the care system and are either fostered or adopted.

"Often there is no clear diagnosis and no information recorded on the child's health file to indicate any potential for FASD.

"Children are instead diagnosed with ADHD or attachment disorder due to distinct separational loss or behaviour differences.

"However, no one is looking back to what was happening during early pregnancy."

The report added: "Children mistakenly diagnosed with ADHD can end up with additional issues, owing to prescribed anti-psychotic medication and therefore there is a real need to get this right. …

Search by... Author
Show... All Results Primary Sources Peer-reviewed

Oops!

An unknown error has occurred. Please click the button below to reload the page. If the problem persists, please try again in a little while.