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J Pediatr. 1999 Oct;135(4):430-6.

Under-recognition of prenatal alcohol effects in infants of known alcohol abusing women.

Author information

1
Genetics and Teratology Unit, Pediatrics Service, Harvard Medical School and Massachusetts General Hospital, Boston, Massachusetts 02114, USA.

Abstract

Medical records of 124 women and their infants were analyzed for: (1) documentation of maternal alcohol and other substance abuse and (2) evaluation of exposed infants. These results were compared with the study interview and infant examination. More obstetric nurses documented the presence or absence of alcohol and substance abuse than did pediatricians. More women reported using alcohol in the study interview than documented in the medical records. There was slightly better documentation for cocaine use than for alcohol use in the medical records. One of the 19 infants with documentation of maternal alcohol use was noted to have possible alcohol-related features by the pediatrician, in contrast to 7 infants identified by the study examiner. In addition, 2 of these 19 infants were determined by the study examiner to have fetal alcohol syndrome; neither case was diagnosed by the pediatricians. Continued efforts at education regarding the importance of asking about prenatal alcohol exposure and the spectrum of fetal alcohol effects are needed for early diagnosis.

PMID:
10518076
[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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