Q1. How often does Edwards syndrome occur?
Edwards syndrome or Trisomy 18 is a rare condition affecting one in six thousand live-births. However, in about one in four hundred pregnancies, Trisomy 18 is diagnosed, but most of the babies die before birth or are still-born.
Q2. What is the life expectancy for Edwards’ syndrome diagnosed babies?
The average life expectancy for Edwards’ syndrome baby is three days to two weeks. About 1 percent of children live beyond their first birthday.
Q3. What is the primary risk factor for developing Edwards’ syndrome?
The most critical risk factor is an older mother. The risk increases with advancing maternal age, especially after 32 years.
Q4. Can Trisomy 18 be prevented?
Since most of the cases happen randomly due to an error with cell division during early fetal development, one cannot prevent Edwards’ syndrome.
Q5. How is Edwards’ syndrome or Trisomy 18 inherited?
Edwards’ syndrome is mostly not inherited. Only in cases of partial syndrome which in itself is very rare, the condition may pass on to the child from parents.
Q6. How does Trisomy 18 cause developmental delays?
All babies born with Trisomy 18 have some sort of learning disability due to an underdeveloped brain along with various other mental and physical disorders. It results in severe developmental delays in babies.
Q7. How common are congenital heart defects in an Edwards syndrome baby?
More than 90 percent of cases are born with congenital heart defects. Cardiac failure is the leading cause of sudden death in children born with this syndrome.
Q8. Are there any risks associated with amniocentesis and CVS procedures?
Both amniocentesis and chorionic virus sampling are invasive procedures that carry a slight risk of miscarriage and injury to the developing baby.
Q9. Which is the most accurate way to diagnose Edwards syndrome after pregnancy?
A blood test is the most precise way to diagnose this condition after pregnancy. The Edwards’ syndrome karyotype can directly be determined and analyzed.
Q10. Can Edwards’ syndrome be cured?
Unfortunately, there is no known, permanent cure. Even managing the symptoms can be quite challenging for the parents. Several health specialists are needed to assist in such conditions.
Q11. Can you have a healthy pregnancy after Edwards syndrome?
The recurrence risk for Edwards’ syndrome is one per cent. So, yes, one can easily have a normal delivery after having a baby with Edwards’ syndrome.
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Raising awareness about Edwards’ syndrome or trisomy 18 will go a long way in helping families prepare and know about the challenges that come with each trisomy. Most importantly, just the feeling of knowing that they’re not alone in this fight will lift their spirits and give them hope, which is the least one can do for such families.