Out of sight, out of mind? A national survey of paediatricians in Ireland regarding fetal alcohol spectrum disorders.
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Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorders (FASDs) are one of the major causes of preventable developmental delay. There is no register of children with FASDs in Ireland. Up to 81% of Irish women report drinking alcohol during the periconceptual period or pregnancy. We aimed to evaluate self-reported knowledge and practice of doctors working in paediatrics in Ireland with regards to FASDs and alcohol consumption during pregnancy. We circulated a survey to all paediatric doctors in Ireland, either enrolled in specialist training or registered as trainers. Fifty-six respondents (31.3%) were unaware of the existence of FASDs. Sixty-two (34.6%) believed most patients with FASDs have dysmorphic features. Seventy-three respondents (40.8%) routinely ask about maternal alcohol consumption during pregnancy in the context of developmental delay. Thirty-one respondents (17.3%) stated that mild alcohol intake in the third trimester of pregnancy is safe. Our survey suggests prenatal alcohol exposure may not be routinely considered in the evaluation of children with developmental delay by paediatric doctors in Ireland. © 2017, Irish Medical Association. All rights reserved.