Inclusion of Foetal Alcohol Syndrome (FAS) in Health Profession Education - A Practical Approach -

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Foetal alcohol spectrum disorder (FASD) is an umbrella term used to define a range of birth defects caused by ethanol. The most severe and clinically recognisable form of FASD, is foetal alcohol syndrome (FAS) In the United Kingdom there is no reliable evidence for the incidence of FASD, while specifically in Northern Ireland there is currently no data available. The British Medical Association reported that there was a lack of awareness of FASD within the general population and among medical healthcare professionals. They have highlighted a pressing need for guidance on the diagnosis and management of FASD in the United Kingdom. A more consistent use of diagnostic criteria by healthcare professionals in addition to thorough training and education, particularly in degree programmes, may increase, improve and enhance practitioner awareness and reporting, and thus impact on awareness in the general population. The aim of this study was to develop a characteristic avian model of FAS, to potentially be used as a teaching aid in national medical curriculums across the United Kingdom. Either 40 or 80 µl phosphate buffered saline (PBS) or equivalent volume of 33 % ethanol was injected into the egg yolk sac of viable fertilised eggs at Day 2 of incubation. On Day 8 of incubation, treated viable embryos were fixed in 4 % formalin/PBS, dissected out and eye measurements were obtained. Treatment with ethanol in an avian model of FAS (n= 9-15) significantly reduced eye diameter in the vertical plane (p<0.05). The present study uses a chick model that exhibits some features of FAS, highlighting its potential use as a teaching aid. By incorporating direct practical experience of the acute effects of ethanol exposure on an avian model into medical curriculums, it is hoped that graduates will provide effective, considered and factual advice to pregnant patients.
Original languageEnglish
Publication statusAccepted - 2017
Event"Anatomists on the Edge": Joint meeting of the Anatomical Society and the American Association of Anatomists - NUI Galway, Galway, Ireland
Duration: 27 Jun 201729 Jun 2017


Conference"Anatomists on the Edge"


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