Spina Bifida Overview

What is Spina Bifida?

Spina Bifida is a birth defect known as a neural tube defect (NTD) that happens during the first month of pregnancy, when the spine does not close properly while the baby is developing. In severe cases, the spinal cord protrudes through the back and may be covered by skin or a thin membrane. Which parts of the body are impaired, and how much, depends on the area of the spinal cord that is affected.

The truth about Spina Bifida.

The medical advances and vast educational resources available today enable people with Spina Bifida to lead full, productive lives. Most have normal intelligence and fulfilling careers and live just as long as other people. Numerous resources are available to people affected by Spina Bifida, including the Spina Bifida Association of America, Easter Seals and Texas Scottish Rite Hospital for Children in Dallas, which has one of the largest Spina Bifida treatment clinics in the U.S.

Birth defects like Spina Bifida occur 7 out of every 10,000 live birth in the United States. Birth certficate data from the National Vital Statistics Systems,  a component of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), National Center for Health Statistics (NCHS),  indicate a drop in the rate of Spina Bifida, however, Spina Bifida is considered to be underreported on birth certificates so the drop in the rate could be due to lack of reporting, an actual decrease in occurence.  In addition,  a number of Spina Bifida pregnancies are voluntarily terminated and we cannot certain how many pregnancies are terminated versus to carried to term.

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