Congenital Deformities

What are congenital deformities?

Congenital deformities or birth defects are defects present at the time of birth itself. They are also known in different names such as congenital malformations or congenital disorders. Various issues like functional anomalies, metabolis disorders, and structural abnormalities etc, include in congenital deformities. Congenital deformities has a vital role in neonatal deaths happening around the world, according to the survey of WHO conducted in 2010.

What are the causes and risk factors of congenital deformities?

Most of the cases cannot be connected to any specific cause. Some of the known causes or risk factors of congenital deformities include:
Socioeconomic factors: They cannot be considered as a direct factor that cause to increase the risk for congenital deformities. However, studies point that congenital abnormalities are very common among families and countries that are resource constrained. Macro nutrient malnutrition is one of the major reason that cause severe birth defects among resource constrained families.

Genetic factors: Most cases of congenital birth defects are familial. Intellectual disability and other serious deformities mostly results from genetic factors.

Infections: Syphilis and rubella are some of the common maternal infections which may cause infections that leads to congenital deformities.
Environmental factors: Exposure to medications, alcohol, pesticides, tobacco and certain chemicals may lead to congenital deformities to the child. High doses of radiation may increase the risk for congenital abnormalities in the child.    

How are congenital anomalies detected?

In most cases, it can be detected during the normal screening and counseling. Screening is conducted in three periods:

1. During the preconception period
2. Antenatal screening
3. Newborn screening

How are congenital abnormalities treated?

Countries like India has well-established health services, where various options are available to tackle congenital abnormalities. Corrective pediatric surgery and other early treatments are available to treat congenital abnormalities.