Major structural birth defects in children aged 0–2-years in the Gaza Strip: a cross-sectional study

Our study population was selected from all patients aged 0–2 years with major structural birth defects who were referred for surgery during the first 6 months of 2010 to one of the five main paediatric hospitals (Nassr, Rantissi, Dorra, European Gaza Hospital, and Emirati) or to one of two paediatric surgical departments (Al-Shifa and European Gaza Hospital) in the Gaza Strip. Of these referrals, those with major structural birth defects (congenital heart disease, and renal, gastrointestinal, and CNS anomalies) were selected by the paediatrician for inclusion. From the children’s records, we obtained the demographic details, risk factors associated with birth defects, family history of birth defects, and type of congenital anomalies noted during clinical examination by a skilled neonatologist and in subsequent investigations. We classified birth defects according to the primary defect, using International Statistical Classification of Diseases and Related Health Problems 10th Revision as a reference. We used a specially prepared form for recording the abstracted data, which were then analysed with SPSS (version 13.0).

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