Alcohol consumption in pregnancy has the potential to cause significant fetal damage. It is estimated that approximately 3.2% of babies born in the UK are affected by fetal alcohol spectrum disorder, though the guidance says currently few children are identified or receive support.
The Scottish Intercollegiate Guidelines Network has developed new guidelines improve understanding, identification and care for those affected by prenatal alcohol exposure.
The guideline includes information to support clinicians identifying children who have been affected by prenatal alcohol exposure and who are at risk of fetal alcohol spectrum disorder.
The researchers conducted thorough systematic literature reviews in order to pull together management plans and selection of evidenced strategies that are designed to implement in practice.
The overall objectives are to provide recommendations on:
- identification of children at risk of fetal alcohol spectrum disorder
- criteria for diagnosis and use of fetal alcohol spectrum disorder as a descriptor
- medical assessment
- physical examination
- sentinel features
- neurodevelopmental assessment
- the multidisciplinary assessment team
- special considerations in the neurodevelopmental assessment
- management and follow up of children and young people affected by prenatal alcohol exposure.