According to the health officials, the cases of babies born with a rare defect are increasing. This birth defect refers to when the babies are born with their intestines outside of their bodies and unfortunately the experts have no idea what is causing this.
This birth defect is also known as gastroschisis and abdominal wall birth defect. In the last 18 years, the number of babies born with this defect has doubled. Gastroschisis occurs when the intestines of the baby get out from inside of the body, through an opening near the bellybutton. Sometimes other organs get out as well. Normally, the abdominal contents of a baby are on the outside during the development of the embryo, but they are finally closed by the wall of the abdomen. When a baby develops gastroschisis, something interrupts that process and the organs remain on the outside.
The most cases that occur are in the babies whose mothers are teenagers. Also, a lot of cases have been reported from mothers that are younger than 20 years old are non-Hispanic black women. The director of the National Center on Birth Defects and Developmental Disabilities, Coleen Boyle, stated that urgent research needs to be done in order to see why it occurs more to some groups of women and which is the exact cause behind the defect.
Dr. James Greenberg from the Children’s Hospital Medical Center in Cincinnati said that back when he was at the beginning of his career, he saw cases of babies born with their intestines outside of their bodies, but back then those cases were very rare, whereas now they are becoming almost common. Greenberg also said that there could be hundreds of reasons behind the gastroschisis, but if the condition is identified before the birth, the caregivers can prepare for it. Usually, an ultrasound done when the baby is 18 weeks old should show the defect. It is very important for the doctors to be aware of the condition, since this could lead to having special caregivers, that would ensure that the organs of the baby are not harmed during the birth.
The babies who suffer from gastroschisis need surgery in the weeks following the birth. The doctors put the organs back in their place and they repair the wall of the abdomen. The main issue is that the babies have troubles eating and digesting the food, even after they undergo surgery, but in time they heal. There are still researchers that are trying to discover how to help the babies born with this defect.
Each year in the United States, 2,000 babies are born with gastroschisis and the cases of babies born with a rare defect are increasing.
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