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International Birth Defects Information Systems
Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorders (FASD)

International Birth Defects Information Systems

Fetal Alcohol Syndrome (FAS)/Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorders (FASD)

Topics: | FASD | FAS | ARND | FAE | EAF | SAF |

Related Topics : | Disabilities | Birth Defects | Fetal Alcohol Syndrome |

Service Related: | Support Groups | Professional Associations | Key Information Sources |

Languages: | English | French | Japanese | Russian | Spanish | Ukranian |

Medical Humanities : | Alcohol | Teratogen |

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Toxic Pathway
Alcohol - Unplanned Pregnancy


Notes per Visitors  

from Policy Statement by American Academy of Pediatrics

Prenatal exposure to alcohol is one of the leading preventable causes of birth defects, mental retardation, and neurodevelopmental disorders. In 1973, a cluster of birth defects resulting from prenatal alcohol exposure was recognized as a clinical entity called fetal alcohol syndrome. More recently, alcohol exposure in utero has been linked to a variety of other neurodevelopmental problems, and the terms alcohol-related neurodevelopmental disorder and alcohol-related birth defects have been proposed to identify infants so affected. This statement is an update of a previous statement by the American Academy of Pediatrics and reflects the current thinking about alcohol exposure in utero and the revised nosology.

The term fetal alcohol syndrome (FAS) refers to a constellation of physical, behavioral, and cognitive abnormalities. In addition to the classic dysmorphic facial features, prenatal and postnatal growth abnormalities, and mental retardation that define the condition, approximately 80% of children with FAS have microcephaly and behavioral abnormalities. As many as 50% of affected children also exhibit poor coordination, hypotonia, attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder, decreased adipose tissue, and identifiable facial anomalies, such as maxillary hypoplasia, cleft palate, and micrognathia. Cardiac defects, hemangiomas, and eye or ear abnormalities are also common.

The term fetal alcohol effects was developed originally to describe abnormalities observed in animal studies, but it was adopted quickly by clinicians to describe children with a variety of problems, including growth deficiency, behavioral mannerisms, and delays in motor and speech performance, who lacked the full complement of FAS diagnostic criteria.

"Of all the substances of abuse, including heroin, cocaine, and marijuana, alcohol produces by far the most serious neurobehavioral effect in the fetus." - Institute of Medicine, 1996 Report to Congress

In February 2005, the U.S. Surgeon General issued an Advisory on Alcohol Use in Pregnancy to raise public awareness about this important health concern. To reduce prenatal alcohol exposure, prevention efforts should target not only pregnant women who are currently drinking, but also women who could become pregnant, are drinking at high-risk levels, and are having unprotected sex.

  1. Drinking alcohol during pregnancy can cause many birth defects and developmental disabilities. These are known as fetal alcohol spectrum disorders (FASDs), and include fetal alcohol syndrome.
  2. FASDs can cause problems in how a person looks, grows, thinks, and acts. FASDs can also cause birth defects of the heart, brain, and other major organs.
  3. About 1 in 12 pregnant women in the United States report alcohol use ... 1 in 30 pregnant women ... binge drink (having five or more drinks at one time).
  4. Alcohol can harm a baby at any time during pregnancy ... before a woman even knows she is pregnant ...
  5. ... FASDs are 100% preventable ... if a woman does not drink alcohol while she is pregnant.
  6. Health professionals should ask all female patients of childbearing age about alcohol use ...

Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorders (FASDs)
Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, August 24, 2009
Visitor Comments [for Parents]
FASDs are 100% preventable if a woman does not drink alcohol during pregnancy.  There is no known safe amount of alcohol to drink while pregnant.  There is also no safe time during pregnancy to drink and no safe kind of alcohol ...

Blood Alcohol Content (BAC) Calculator
The Police Notebook, University of Oklahoma Police Department, May 7, 2007
"Will eating breath mints after drinking fool a police 'breath test'?" ... Eating mints will not affect your BAC level ... The only relation we've seen between what you eat before drinking and your drunkenness is that the more you drink, the more likely we are to find what you ate on your shirt, or on the floorboard of the patrol car ... "Will splashing cold water on my face or taking a cold shower help sober me up?" ... Splash away! And by all means, take a cold shower. It may make you cleaner, but it won't sober you up ... 1 Drink = 54 ounces of alcohol ... Male 170 lbs, 4 drinks, BAC = .07 ... Female 137 lbs, between 2 and 3 drinks, BAC reaches .07 ...

Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) FASD Center for Excellence
December 13, 2006
Visitor Comments"... up to date FASD/FAS information and resources ... Spanish ... help for Native Americans ..."
... Federal initiative devoted to preventing and treating FASD ...

What is Fetal Alcohol Syndrome?
National Organization on Fetal Alcohol Syndrome (NOFAS), 2007
Visitor Comments"Excellent website for parents and educators ... "
The National Organization On Fetal Alcohol Syndrome is dedicated to eliminating birth defects caused by alcohol consumption during pregnancy and to improving the quality of life for those affected individuals and families. NOFAS has both radio and TV PSA 's available to help communities spread the FASD prevention message...

Fetal Alcohol Syndrome Surveillance
Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), May 2, 2006
Visitor Comments"... for families and professionals."
Main CDC FASD website ... What are FAS and FASDs?, How common are FAS and FASDs?, What are the characteristics of children with FAS and other FASDs?, How can we prevent FASDs? ... and related links.

Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorders
Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), May 31, 2007
When a pregnant woman drinks alcohol, so does her unborn baby ...

Preventing Fetal Alcohol Syndrome
American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP)
Visitor Comments [for Professionals mainly] "Good resource ..."
AAP FASD website with FAS/FASD information and resource links.

Why Pregnancy and Alcohol Don't Mix
American Academy of Family Physicians (AAFP), April 2005
Visitor Comments"... for parents."
Drinking alcohol during pregnancy can be dangerous to you and your baby...The most serious problem is mental retardation...

Fetal Alcohol Syndrome
The Arc, November 2003 factsheet
Visitor Comments [Support Groups] "... Q + A targeted towards women to prevent the use of alcohol during pregnancy."
The Arc is the world's largest grassroots organization of and for people with intellectual and developmental disabilities ....

Drug Rehabs and Addiction Treatment by State
April 1, 2013
Visitor Comments"Facility locators are tremendous tools for those in need of treatment help."
... To locate the drug and alcohol abuse treatment programs nearest you ...

National Institute for Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism (NIAAA)
June 2006
Visitor Comments"... information and resources, including publications available for order ..."
FAS is a devastating birth defect characterized by craniofacial malformations, neurological and motor deficits, intrauterine growth retardation, learning disabilities, and behavioral and social deficits ...

FAS Iceberg
Visitor Comments"... excellent resource for parents ..."
... international educational newsletter ... welcomes article contributions ... from parents, ...  

Fetal Alcohol Syndrome
Medline Plus, U.S. National Library of Medicine and National Institutes of Health, March 30, 2007
Visitor Comments"... source for articles, handouts and brochures ..."
Drinking and Your Pregnancy ...

Policy Statement: Alcohol Use and Abuse: A Pediatric Concern
PEDIATRICS Vol. 108 No. 1 July 2001, pp. 185-189
Alcohol use and abuse by children and adolescents continue to be a major problem. Pediatricians should interview their patients regularly about alcohol use within the family, by friends, and by themselves. A comprehensive substance abuse curriculum should be integrated into every pediatrician's training. Advertising of alcohol in the media, on the Internet, and during sporting events is a powerful force that must be addressed. Availability of alcohol to minors must be controlled, and interventions for the child and adolescent drinker and punitive action for the purveyor are encouraged.

FAS Fact Sheets
National Organization on Fetal Alcohol Syndrome, 2007

Fetal Alcohol Syndrome (FAS)
Sharon Davis, Ph.D. et al., The Arc, November 2003
FAS refers to a group of physical, behavioral, and cognitive abnormalities that can occur to unborn babies when pregnant women drink alcohol and pass the alcohol along to their unborn babies through the blood stream.  FAS is identified by abnormal facial features, central nervous system problems and a slowness of growth.  FAS can cause physical and mental disabilities of varying levels of severity (including mental retardation).  Alcohol-related neurodevelopmental disorder (ARND) is also caused by prenatal alcohol use.  Children with ARND do not have full FAS, but may demonstrate learning and behavioral problems.  Another term commonly used to describe children affected by prenatal alcohol use who do not have all the symptoms of FAS is fetal alcohol effects (FAE) ...

Teaching Students with Fetal Alcohol Syndrome/Effects: A Resource Guide for Teachers
Special Education Home, Ministry of Eductation, 1996
Acknowledgements ... Teaching the Student with FAS or FAE ... What are FAS and FAE? ... Characteristics of Students with FAS/E ...
Preparing To Teach Students with FAS/E ... Understanding the Needs of the Student with FAS/E ... Developing an Individual Education Plan ...

Fetal Alcohol Syndrome
Mayo Clinic, May 23, 2007
Visitor Comments "... for students ..."
As many as 40,000 babies are born with some type of alcohol-related damage each year in the United States. Fetal alcohol syndrome affects an estimated one to two out of every 1,000 births in the United States ... If you suspect that your child has fetal alcohol syndrome, talk to your doctor as soon as possible. Early diagnosis may reduce the risk of problems in life associated with fetal alcohol syndrome, including troubles at school, with substance abuse and with the law ...

Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorders
National Center on Birth Defects and Developmental Disabilities, May 2, 2006
Prenatal exposure to alcohol can cause a range of disorders, known as fetal alcohol spectrum disorders (FASDs). One of the most severe effects of drinking during pregnancy is fetal alcohol syndrome (FAS). FAS is one of the leading known preventable causes of mental retardation and birth defects. If a woman drinks alcohol during her pregnancy, her baby can be born with FAS, a lifelong condition that causes physical and mental disabilities. FAS is characterized by abnormal facial features, growth deficiencies, and central nervous system (CNS) problems. People with FAS might have problems with learning, memory, attention span, communication, vision, hearing, or a combination of these. These problems often lead to difficulties in school and problems getting along with others. FAS is a permanent condition. It affects every aspect of an individual’s life and the lives of his or her family.

National Organization on Fetal Alcohol Syndrome (NOFAS)
Visitor Comments [Support Groups] "... gate to many chapters ... for parents ... "
The National Organization on Fetal Alcohol Syndrome (NOFAS) is committed to developing and implementing innovative ideas in prevention, education, intervention, and advocacy in communities both nationally and internationally. We offer competitive benefits and a supportive work environment ...

FAS World
FAS World, November 20, 2007
FASworld is an international alliance of parents and professionals who do not want to see any more children, teenagers and adults struggle with birth defects caused when their mothers drank alcohol in pregnancy. Co-founded by volunteers in Toronto, Canada, and Tucson, Arizona, it has resulted in the creation of the Canadian organization, FASworld Canada, which continues to work with the FAS Community Resource Center in Tucson to coordinate work in worldwide awareness ...

FAS Diagnostic & Prevention Network
University of Washington
FAS DPN ... Screening ... Diagnosis ... Surveillance ... Intervention ... Prevention ... Training ... Research ... Literature ... Links ... Order Forms ... Russia ... Search

FASlink: Fetal Alcohol Disorders Society
FASlink Fetal Alcohol Disorders Society Home Page
FASD is 100% preventable. If you are pregnant or plan to become pregnant, don't drink any beverage alcohol. There is no known safe level. To ignore the facts does not change the facts ... FASD Overview

Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorders: Monitoring Alcohol Use Map
Centers for Diseade Control and Prevention, June 5, 2007
Alabama, 35.3, 7.5 ... Connecticut, 65.4, 13.5 ... Utah, 24.6, 6.4

Alcoholics Anonymous
Visitor Comments [Support Groups] [English] [Spanish] [French]
Alcoholic Anonymous World Services, Inc.

Fetal Alcohol Syndrome
Fetal Alcohol  Syndrome Information Support and Communication Link (FASlink)
Visitor Comments"... Canadian ... very active ..."
FASlink began online in 1995. FASlink's website contains more than 110,000 searchable FASD related documents and serves more than 400,000 visitors annually

Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorder , Introduction to FASD Overview
Canadian Centre on Substance Abuse (CCSA), 2007
Visitor Comments [English] [French] "... Canadian website ..."
Article with Canadian occurrence statistics and article links ...

Répertoire canadien des services d'information et de soutien en matière de SAF/EAF
Canadian Centre on Substance Abuse (CCSA), March 2006
Visitor Comments [Support Groups] [English] [French]"... directory of Canadian resources for children with FAS/FASD ... "

FASD Program: Alberta , Canada
June 2007
Visitor Comments"... Good Canadian website on government programs ..."
... On May 30, 2007, Minister Tarchuk announced $4 million in additional funding to enhance access to programs and services for Albertans affected by fetal alcohol spectrum disorder (FASD), and reduce the incidence of this preventable disability in the province ...

El Tomar Alcohol Durante el Embarazo (Los Efectos del Alcohol en el Feto) No. 93
American Academy of Child Adolescent Psychiatry, 2007
Visitor Comments [Spanish]
De acuerdo con el Colegio Americano de Obstetricia y Ginecología, las mujeres embarazadas no deben ingerir ningúna forma de alcohol. Las mujeres que piensan embarazarse tienen que estar conscientes de los efectos serios y negativos del alcohol en el desarrollo del bebé (feto). En los Estados Unidos, la exposición prenatal al alcohol es la causa más común de los defectos de nacimiento. La exposición al alcohol durante el embarazo le hace daño al cerebro y afecta el comportamiento del niño—dichos efectos se pueden prevenir en un 100 porciento.

Miles de niños nacen con los efectos de la exposición prenatal al alcohol. Mientras que muchas personas toman, el alcohol es venenoso para el niño que crece dentro del vientre. El ingerir tan siquiera una bebida alcohólica por día durante el embarazo expone al bebé en desarrrollo al riesgo de defectos de nacimiento serios. Una pequeña cantidad de alcohol pueden causarle daño permanente al niño. El uso del alcohol durante el embarazo puede causar problemas serios en los niños y adolescentes:

  • Los infantes pueden demostrar un crecimiento lento y un retraso en su desarrollo, características faciales poco usuales, irritabilidad, desórdenes del cerebro y neurológicos, retardación mental y problemas con su apegamiento hacia los padres.
  • Los chiquillos y los niños de edad escolar pueden tener problemas con el aprendizaje, poca tolerancia a la frustación, límites sociales inadecuados y dificultades para leer.
  • Los adolescentes pueden tener problemas de aprendizaje contínuos, depresión, ansiedad y comportamiento sexual inapropiado.

Advertencia sobre el uso del alcohol durante el embarazo
U.S. Surgeon General, 2005
Visitor Comments [Spanish]
... síndrome alcohólico fetal (SAF). El SAF se caracteriza por deficiencias del crecimiento (o disminución del crecimiento), características faciales anormales (rasgos faciales específicos) y anormalidades del sistema nervioso central (o del cerebro) ... provocados por la exposición al alcohol durante el período prenatal ... Deseo enfatizar a los futuros padres, los proveedores de atención médica y todas las mujeres en edad reproductiva, especialmente aquellas que están embarazadas, que es importante que las mujeres embarazadas o aquellas que piensan quedar embarazadas se abstengan de ingerir alcohol ... El consumo de alcohol durante el embarazo aumenta el riesgo de tener bebés con defectos relacionados con el alcohol, entre los cuales se encuentran deficiencias del desarrollo, anormalidades faciales, limitaciones del sistema nervioso central ... La mujer embarazada no debe consumir alcohol durante el embrazo ... Toda mujer que haya tomado alcohol durante el embarazo, debe dejar de hacerlo a fin de minimizar otros riesgos ... Toda mujer que esté pensando quedar embarazada, debe dejar de consumir alcohol

Síndrome alcohólico fetal (SAF)
Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), May 31, 2006
Visitor Comments [Spanish]
El síndrome alcohólico fetal (SAF) es una afección caracterizada por rasgos faciales anormales, retardo del crecimiento y problemas de sistema nervioso central, que puede presentarse si la mujer toma alcohol durante el embarazo ...

El Centro EDAF
SAMHSA, Washington D.C., USA
Visitor Comments [Spanish]
"¡Deténgase y piense! Si está embarazada no tome alcohol." ... Información sobre el Espectro de los Desórdenes Relacionados con el Alcoholismo Fetal (EDAF) ... (SAMHSA.) ... ¿Qué es EDAF? Se refiere a un grupo de anomalías congénitas causadas por el consumo de alcohol de una mujer durante su embarazo ...

Fetal Alcohol Syndrome Fact Sheet
IBIS Birth Defects, February 5, 2002
Visitor Comments [for Professionals mainly] [Ukrainian]

Alcohol and Health
IBIS Birth Defects, February 15, 2002
Visitor Comments [Ukrainian] "... Information for families ..."

Природжені вади
MavicaNET, 2000
Visitor Comments [Ukrainian]

Алкоголь і вагітність
«Escape» Голандсько-Український центр профілактики табакопаління, алкоголізму, наркоманії
Visitor Comments [Ukrainian] [Russian] "... Support for families ...Q + A ..."

Фетальный алкогольный синдром: ЛИЦО
Susan Astley, Ph.D., FAS Diagnostic & Prevention Network, University of Washington, Seattle WA, USA
Visitor Comments [Russian] "... nicely illustrated ..."

Что необходимо знать о Синдроме эмбрионального алкоголизма
Maternal Substance Abuse Project, Emory University West Campus
Visitor Comments [Russian]

Visitor Comments [Russian]

FAS - Zespół Alkoholowy Płodu (FETAL ALCOHOL SYNDROME)
Ona i Dziecko
Visitor Comments [Polish]
Fetal Alkohol Syndrome (FAS) jest to zespół nieprawidłowości, stwierdzany u niektórych matek spożywających alkohol w okresie ciąży. Następuje on w wyniku picia alkoholu przez kobiety ciężarne. Wówczas alkohol przenika przez łożysko i jest wchłaniany w całości przez dziecko, uszkadzając płód nieodwracalnie , nawet wtedy kiedy matka tego nie odczuwa ...

alkoholowy zespół płodowy (FAS)
Visitor Comments [Polish]
Alkohol i ciąża.
Nie ma bezpiecznego okresu w ciąży.
Nie ma bezpiecznej dawki alkoholu.
Nie ma bezpiecznego alkoholu

Account of Fetal Alcohol Syndrome (Includes English Version)
Visitor Comments [Support Groups] [Japanese] "... comprehensive ... testimonial from a family member ... great for parents ... "

Fetální alkoholový syndrom
Visitor Comments [Czech] [Slovak]
Výzkumy ukázaly, že i jen malé dávky alkoholu konzumované během těhotenství mohou velmi vážně poškodit plod . V těle těhotné ženy není alkohol dopravován jen ke všem orgánům a tkáním, ale též k placentě, kde snadno prochází přes membránu oddělující mateřský a plodový krevní systém. Touto cestou je alkohol dopravován přímo k plodu a ke všem jeho vyvíjejícím se tkáním a orgánům ...


Last Updated: 2008/1/07


American Medical Association