The Division has a number of patient care activities providing diagnostic services, genetic and teratogen counseling, and long-term follow-up of children with birth defects throughout the region.
Clinical Care and Follow-Up
Clinics are held in San Diego and in Tijuana, Mexico. Inpatient consults on fetal alcohol syndrome and other birth related disorders are conducted at the UCSD Medical Center (in the neonatal intensive care unit, newborn nursery, and autopsy service) and also at Scripps Mercy Hospital. Outpatient consults and follow-up take place at Rady Children's Hospital San Diego and at the Hospital del Infantil de las Californias in Tijuana.
MotherToBaby California is dedicated to providing evidence-based information to pregnant and breastfeeding women, women planning pregnancy, fathers, family members, physicians, and other health care providers about medications, alcohol, drugs of abuse, herbal supplements, chemicals, infectious diseases, and other exposures during pregnancy and lactation. In addition to the information service, pregnant women are invited to participate in our observational Child Health and Development Follow-up Program where pregnancies are followed and delivery/outcome information is collected via phone interviews. The children participating in the follow-up program may have the opportunity to be examined by the Medical Director and receive a neurodevelopmental assessment, all at no cost to the family. MotherToBaby California is an affiliate of the Organization of Teratology Information Specialists (OTIS).
Institute for Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorders Discovery
The Institute for Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorders Discovery (IFASDD) provides diagnostic and screening, and intervention services to children with prenatal alcohol exposure. Services include dysmorphology exams, developmental and behavioral assessments, and the Math Interactive Learning Experience (MILE) intervention program, educational support, and a parent support group that meets monthly. FASD screenings are provided to high-risk populations in early intervention programs and the juvenile justice system. IFASDD works closely with the Southern California affiliate of the National Organization on Fetal Alcohol Syndrome (SoCal NOFAS) to provide support and services to families, increase awareness of FASD, and promote the prevention of alcohol-exposed pregnancies.
Enhancing FASD Diagnostic Capacity via Telemedicine
With funding from the National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism, our Division is home to a project that will develop a methodology whereby long-distance medical consultation can be provided to physicians and other health care providers in outlying areas throughout the world. This telemedicine methodology will be a wireless, interactive, audiovisual tele-consultation system that would provide the opportunity for a practitioner in one remote location to perform a comprehensive examination of a child being evaluated for Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorders (FASD) that could be simultaneously viewed, commented upon and corrected by an expert dysmorphologist at a central location. This will provide an innovative approach to the diagnosis of FASD in underserved areas throughout the world where physicians with expertise in diagnosis of this disorder are unavailable. This system will initially be developed and field-tested in San Diego, but will then be available for trials in other more distant areas.