Fourth case of rare birth defect

A FOURTH case of the rare birth defect gastroschisis - in which babies are born with their intestinal contents freely protruding through a hole in the abdomen – has been confirmed by the grandmother of a Nimbin baby born with the condition in December 2009.

The grandmother contacted The Northern Star after reading a story in Saturday’s paper about three confirmed cases of the defect, which has prevalence in Australia of about one case per 5000 to 10,000 live births.

The story also mentioned a possible fourth case in Nimbin.

All four babies with the condition were born after June 2008 to mothers living in Barkers Vale, Stoney Chute, Nimbin and North Lismore.

The grandmother, who wished to remain anonymous, said her daughter was still too traumatised from the experience to speak publicly, but supported the other mothers in their call for an investigation into a possible cluster of the condition.

The Nimbin woman, diagnosed 13 weeks into her pregnancy, delivered the baby girl naturally at 38 weeks at the Mater Mothers Hospital in Brisbane.

The baby was wrapped in plastic before being take to the operating theatre where the hole in the her abdomen was closed by a team of surgeons just 20 minutes after her birth.

The child has recovered well from the condition and will have a final check up with specialists in Brisbane when she turns two.

The grandmother said she had been aware of other cases but had not realised they were living so close by.


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