October marks the start of Spina Bifida Awareness Month, promoting the awareness and prevention of Spina Bifida. Each October we take time to promote spina bifida awareness, share information about it, and provide greater information on the best ways for those with spina bifida deal with their urologic conditions.
What is Spina Bifida?
Spina Bifida is the most common permanently disabling birth defect in the United States. At 180 Medical we are proud to be a helpful resource and urologic catheter supplier for many with the condition.
The Spina Bifida Association reports that:
- Each day in the United States, an average of eight babies are born with Spina Bifida or a similar defect of the brain and spine.
- An estimated 166,000 people in the United States currently live with Spina Bifida.
- Hispanic mothers are one-and-a-half to two times more likely to give birth to a child with Spina Bifida than non-Hispanic Caucasians.
Types of Spina Bifida
There are no two cases of spina bifida that are alike. Some people have conditions that are more severe than others. Basically Spina Bifida means “split spine”. Here are the different types of spina bifida:
- Occulta – The spinal cord and nerves are usually normal and there is no opening on the back. It’s the most mild form and is the most common.
- Meningocele – Protective coverings of the spinal cord come through the openings on the back.
- Myleomeningocele – The bones of the spinal column do not come together and usually there is not complete skin over the open spinal cord.
Spina Bifida Prevention
Birth defects can happen in any family. Some, but not all, cases of spina bifida can be prevented. Although we don’t know the exact cause, folic acid does play a role. All women of childbearing age are encouraged to take a vitamin with 400 micrograms folic acid every day and eat a healthy diet.
Living With Spina Bifida
Video from the Department of Health & Human Services, Center of Disease Control