Scotland: new guidance on fetal alcohol spectrum disorder

11 April 2019

A new SIGN guideline has been introduced to help better identify fetal alcohol spectrum disorder (FASD).

The guidance is the first in the UK to cover FASD. Around 3.2% of babies born in the UK are affected by FASD, which means that as many as 172,000 people could be affected in Scotland.

FASD describes a range of lifelong harmful effects to a baby’s development when alcohol is consumed during pregnancy, including brain damage and physical issues such as poor growth.

Dr Patricia Jackson, co-chair of the Guideline Development Group, said: ‘Early identification and support can mean fewer mental health issues, better educational achievements, and improved life chances, reducing the possibility of later difficulties such as homelessness and involvement with the criminal justice system.’

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