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Edwards Syndrome

(also known as Trisomy 18. T18).

This chromosome abnormality is caused by the addition of an extra chromosome 18. This chromosomal malformation causes various abnormalities throughout the body. Few babies are born with Edwards Syndrome, the majority ending in stillbirth. Of those that do survive, they have a very short life expectancy with multiple disabilities.

Features of Edwards Syndrome

Intrauterine Growth Retardation and low birth weight
Heart defects
Other organ abnormalities
Abnormally shaped head – small jaw and mouth
Clenched fists and overlapping fingers
Severe intellectual disability

Due to the severe medical issues, many babies die before birth or within the first month.  Possibly 5-10% live with this condition for the first year of life.

Risk of a mother having a child with Edwards syndrome increases with advancing age.