SIGN 156: Children and young people exposed prenatally to alcohol

 In Awareness Campaigns, Clinical Guidelines, SIGN Guidelines

This SIGN guideline was published in January 2019 and is expected to be of interest to those involved in the assessment and diagnosis of people at risk of fetal alcohol spectrum disorder (FASD), as well as individuals and families at risk of FASD themselves. It is estimated that approximately 3.2% of babies born in the UK are affected by FASD, meaning that as many as 172,000 people could be affected by the disorder in Scotland. A recent study in Glasgow studied the meconium of newborn babies and found that 42% of samples showed evidence of the mother having consumed alcohol during pregnancy, with 15% of those pregnancies exposed to very high levels of alcohol.

This guideline makes recommendations on:

  • the measurement of alcohol consumption in pregnancy
  • identification of children at risk of FASD
  • criteria for diagnosis and use of FASD as a descriptor
  • the medical assessment
  • physical examination
  • sentinel facial features
  • neurodevelopmental assessment
  • the multidisciplinary assessment team
  • special considerations in the neurodevelopmental assessment
  • management and follow up of children and young people affected by pre-natal alcohol exposure (PAE).

For further information, please see the SIGN website.



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