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1 in 100 babies: why we created a fetal alcohol spectrum disorder pathway

Many women are unaware that even low level alcohol consumption during pregnancy is associated with developmental disability in children. Alcohol team leader Kerry Lyons reveals how she helped create an innovative pathway to identify drinking in pregnancy and inform women of the risks.
Kerry Lyons

Many women are unaware that even low level alcohol consumption during pregnancy is associated with developmental disability in children. Alcohol specialist nurse Kerry Lyons reveals how she helped create an innovative pathway to identify drinking in pregnancy and inform women of the risks

Alcohol consumed during pregnancy is the nation’s leading preventable cause of developmental disabilities and birth defects. One in 100 babies is estimated to be born with alcohol-related damage according to the World Health Organization. FASDs (fetal alcohol spectrum disorders) are more common than autism, but sadly massively under-diagnosed.

I lead the HALS (Hospital Alcohol Liaison Service) at Tameside which, in collaboration with specialist midwife Mags Deakin, has developed and launched an innovative pathway aiming to help prevent FASD.

The pathway,

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