Fetal Alcohol Syndrome (FAS) is a disorder that can happen to children whose mothers drank sufficient amounts of alcohol sometime throughout their pregnancy. Fetal Alcohol Syndrome is a condition classified in a group called Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorders, and is the most known and severe of the group.
FAS, depending on the factors such as location, population and race studied is considered one of the leading known causes of mental retardation and birth defects, with 0.2 – 1.5 out of every 1,000 live births (Ismail, Buckley, Budacki, Jabbar, & Gallicano, 2010) and as many as 40,000 infants born with some sort of disorder or complication related to alcohol consumption every year. (Mayo Clinic, 2009)
The severity that the disorder may have on a fetus depends on the amount of alcohol that was consumed and the time of consumption when the fetus was in uetero. FAS does not always result from high amounts of alcohol ingested by the mother, but possibly when it was consumed. The most critical time of fetal development in pregnancy is throughout the first trimester when the fetal body systems and organs are in the most vital stages of development, and are at risk for being severely altered, effecting every individual diagnosed in different ways. The central nervous system and brain are most affected, leading to developmental and cognitive alterations as well as physical changes of the child that is born with FAS. (Ismail, Buckley, Budacki, Jabbar, & Gallicano, 2010)
Fetal Alcohol syndrome is one of the leading causes of disabilities that could be prevented in the world; the costs of someone with FAS are between $800,000 to over 2.0 million dollars in medical and overall costs throughout their life. (Lupton, Burd, & Hardwood, 2004)
FAS is the most common and most severe of the conditions under the term Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorders or FASD, along with Alcohol related Neurodevelopmental disorder, ad alcohol related birth defects. (Ismail, Buckley, Budacki, Jabbar, & Gallicano, 2010)
FAS is causes by an ingestion of alcohol consumed by a woman sometime during her pregnancy, while there has been no specific amount of alcohol that is considered safe to drink throughout her pregnancy, it has been recommended to be avoided all together.
The effects of excessive alcohol consumption has been proven to have had negative and persistent effects on babies, born from mothers who have consumed alcohol throughout their pregnancy, evidence linking that low to moderate amounts have put the fetus at risk for delays and have lifelong complications. (Nathanson, & O'Brien, 2000)
Fetal Alcohol Syndrome has had the highest incidence among disadvantaged groups although drinking is much more common among the middle to higher classes, than the poor, reasons that FAS is seen more in the poverty than the upper classes may be related to more negative choices and lack of resources. (Abel, & Armstrong, 2000) Other factors such as poverty, previous alcohol abuse,...