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Foetal Alcohol Syndrome

Volume 455: debated on Tuesday 16 January 2007

To ask the Secretary of State for Health what estimate she has made of the number of children born in England with foetal alcohol syndrome in each of the last 10 years. (105631)

Hospital episode statistics publications contain information on admissions to hospital together with information around the primary and secondary diagnosis of the patient being treated. However, the diagnoses of foetal alcohol syndrome (FAS) are rarely recorded in hospital systems as such a diagnosis may not be identified at birth. It requires identification of the facial or other FAS abnormality at this early stage, which can be very difficult and problems that raise the possible diagnosis may only become apparent during schooling. In addition, sensitive information about heavy drinking during pregnancy may not be revealed in that context.