IMPORTANT NOTICE: At Fortis Healthcare, we are fully supportive of the National priorities set out by the Hon’ble Prime Minister of India. Further to the directives of the Government provided in their press release dated 8th Nov 2016, payments at Government hospitals can be made through 500 and 1000 Rupee denomination notes. In view of the hardship being caused to the large number of patients at private hospitals, we have made an urgent representation to the Government that this exemption should apply equally, for payments, at private hospitals. We are following up with the authorities and hope the Government will step in quickly to resolve this anomaly. Meanwhile, at Fortis hospitals across the country, we continue to accept payments through credit card, debit card and electronic banking transfers. As 500 and 1000 Rupee denomination notes are no longer legal tender we are only accepting 100 Rs and lower currency notes. As per Government regulation, a PAN card and legitimate ID proof is however required for payments in cash exceeding Rs 50,000. Meanwhile we continue to ensure that emergency cases get immediate medical attention without delay whatsoever and have put in more administrative staff and help desks to assist patients.

Spina bifida

Spina bifida is part of a group of birth defects called neural tube defects. The neural tube is the embryonic structure that eventually develops into the baby's brain and spinal cord and the tissues that enclose them.

Normally, the neural tube forms early in the pregnancy and closes by the 28th day after conception. In babies with spina bifida, a portion of the neural tube fails to develop or close properly, causing defects in the spinal cord and in the bones of the spine.

Spina bifida occurs in various forms of severity. When treatment for spina bifida is necessary, it's done surgically, although such treatment doesn't always completely resolve the problem.


Symptoms Causes Risk factors Complications Prevention

Spina bifida occurs in three forms, each varying in severity.

Spina bifida occulta

This mildest form results in a small separation or gap in one or more of the bones (vertebrae) of the spine. Because the spinal nerves usually aren't involved, most children with this form of spina bifida have no signs or symptoms and experience no neurological problems.

Visible indications of spina bifida occulta can sometimes be seen on the newborn's skin above the spinal defect, including:

  • An abnormal tuft of hair
  • A collection of fat
  • A small dimple or birthmark

Many people who have spina bifida occulta don't even know it, unless the condition is discovered during an X-ray or other imaging test done for unrelated reasons.

Meningocele

In this rare form, the protective membranes around the spinal cord (meninges) push out through the opening in the vertebrae. Because the spinal cord develops normally, these membranes can be removed by surgery with little or no damage to nerve pathways.

Myelomeningocele

Also known as open spina bifida, myelomeningocele is the most severe form — and the form people usually mean when they use the term "spina bifida."

In myelomeningocele, the baby's spinal canal remains open along several vertebrae in the lower or middle back. Because of this opening, both the membranes and the spinal cord protrude at birth, forming a sac on the baby's back.

In some cases, skin covers the sac. Usually, however, tissues and nerves are exposed, making the baby prone to life-threatening infections.

Neurological impairment is common, including:

  • Muscle weakness of the legs, sometimes involving paralysis
  • Bowel and bladder problems
  • Seizures, especially if the child requires a shunt
  • Orthopedic problems — such as deformed feet, uneven hips and a curved spine (scoliosis)

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