Down syndrome: An integrative review
- Publication Type:
- Journal Article
- Journal of Neonatal Nursing, 2018, 24 (5), pp. 235 - 241
- Issue Date:
© 2018 Neonatal Nurses Association Down syndrome is a complex genetic disorder resulting in three copies of chromosome 21. Babies with this genetic disorder will have recognisable characteristic facial features that will differ from one baby to another. They will also have some degree of cognitive impairment and learning difficulties. There are many medical conditions associated with Down syndrome, however, due to recent medical advances there have been improvements in their health and longevity. This has led to a rise in people with Down syndrome developing Alzheimer's disease as they age. The purpose of this review is to provide insight into the impacts that Down syndrome has on foetal development as well as ongoing health issues up to adulthood. There were many ethical issues raised surrounding the Baby Doe case and will also be explored in this review. CINAHL (EBSCO) was the primary medical database for this review retrieving 147 results in relation to Down syndrome and foetal development. An additional search was made retrieving 12 results in relation to ethical issues surrounding prenatal diagnosis of Down syndrome. Further resources such as websites and neonatal nursing textbooks were also used. This review aims to provide a snapshot of Down syndrome with consideration given to the short and long-term outcomes for the baby, and the consequences for the growing child and his/her family. It is essential for neonatal nurses to understand the complexities of this genetic disorder, how to care for babies with Down syndrome, and how to provide support to parents and families.
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