Tuesday, April 21, 2009

spina Bifida.... Do you know?

Working in the hospital is a bit hectic but I am glad because I am able to give a liitle help which is good.
Today has been a hectic day because I have met new parent who do not know anything about spina bifida,
So I was wondering Do you know anything about it? or have you heard anything about it?

Spina bifida is a serious birth defect that occurs when the tissue surrounding the developing spinal cord of a fetus doesn't close properly.

Spina bifida is one of the more common birth defects in the United States and these days the cases are increasing in Africa. When treatment for spina bifida is necessary, it's done through surgery, although such treatment doesn't always completely resolve the problem.

Myelomeningocele is a severe form of spina bifida, in which the membranes and the spinal cord protrude at birth, forming a sac on the baby's back. Exposed nerves and muscles may become infected, so prompt surgery is needed after birth.

Spina bifida occulta. This mildest form results in a small separation or gap in one or more of the vertebrae of the spine. Because the spinal nerves usually aren't involved, most children with this form of spina bifida have no signs or symptoms and experience no neurological problems.

An abnormal tuft of hair, a collection of fat, a small dimple or a birthmark on the newborn's skin above the spinal defect may be the only visible indication of the condition. In fact, most people who have spina bifida occulta don't even know it, unless the condition is discovered during an X-ray for unrelated reasons.

Meningocele. In this rare form, the protective membranes around the spinal cord (meninges) push out through the opening in the vertebrae. Because the spinal cord develops normally, these membranes can be removed by surgery with little or no damage to nerve pathways.
Myelomeningocele. Also known as open spina bifida, myelomeningocele is the most severe form — and the form people usually mean when they use the term "spina bifida."

In myelomeningocele, the baby's spinal canal remains open along several vertebrae in the lower or middle back. Because of this opening, both the membranes and the spinal cord protrude at birth, forming a sac on the baby's back. In some cases, skin covers the sac. Usually, however, tissues and nerves are exposed, making the baby prone to life-threatening infections.

Neurological impairment — often including loss of movement (paralysis) — is common. So are bowel and bladder problems, seizures and other medical complications.
Here are some of the risk factors that I have come to learn while working here ar Bethny kids

Risk factors
Although doctors and researchers don't know for sure why spina bifida occurs, they have identified a few risk factors:

Race. Spina bifida is more common among Hispanics and whites of Northern European descent.

Sex. More female babies are born with spina bifida.
Family history of neural tube defects. Couples who've had one child with a neural tube defect have a slightly higher chance of having another baby with the same defect. That risk increases if two previous children have been affected by the condition. In addition, a woman who was born with a neural tube defect, or who has a close relative with one, has a greater chance of giving birth to a child with spina bifida. However, most babies with spina bifida are born to parents with no known family history of the condition.

Folic acid deficiency. This vitamin is important to the healthy development of a fetus. Lack of folic acid (vitamin B-9) increases the risk of spina bifida and other neural tube defects.

Some medications. Anti-seizure medications, such as valproic acid (Depakene), seem to cause neural tube defects when taken during pregnancy, perhaps because they interfere with the body's ability to use folic acid.
Diabetes. The risk of spina bifida increases with diabetes, especially when the mother's blood sugar is elevated early in her pregnancy. Careful blood sugar control and management can decrease this risk.

Obesity. There's a link between pre-pregnancy obesity and neural tube birth defects, including spina bifida. Exactly why obese women have an increased risk of having a baby with spina bifida isn't known, but is possibly because of nutritional deficits from poor eating habits or because they may have diabetes — another known risk factor for neural tube defects.

But having spina bifida cannot prevent someone from living a normal life just like I

If you have extra infromation or corrections your comments are welcomed and if you have learned something new Thanks so much.


francesca said...

si rebecca I know...this disability

school for the girls said...

Hi Francesca,
I am glad that you know.

Do have a wonderful evening

manuela said...


ciao Reby
hope you can open this link, unfortunatly it is in italian...

Miss Welby said...

Hi Reb, I eventually found the time to visit you and I congratulate you about this post. Serious stuff, sadly.

On a lighter note, did you know that me and Orietta wrote a novel together, some years ago, and I am now translating it into English, so that you too can read Orietta's novel!

It's here: http://misswelby.wordpress.com/serial-novels/the-polpetton-hash/If the link doesn't work, copy and paste the URL: http://misswelby.wordpress.com/serial-novels/the-polpetton-hash/

Kisses and ciao, keep up the good job

Damiano said...

Hi Reby, really interesting your post on a big problem for some (many, I fear) children. Spina Bifida is a serious problem in Italy too.

Many kisses and Love from
Riformistalchemico (Damian)

Middle Ditch said...

This is a very interesting read. I have learned so much. Thank you

school for the girls said...

Hi Manuela,
I am glad for this thanks so much.
It was an interview at our place.

Ciao Miss
Thanks I am going to visit the link right away.

Hi Damian Thank you so much for your comment. Yes it is a big problem but we have to handle it.

Hello Middle Ditch,
I am glad you have been able to learn a lot.

thank you so much your interest and taking your time to visit this site

Anonymous said...

I have a son that had the in utero corrective procedure! He does not need a shunt and is moving very well. There is a lot of progress being made for SB!!