Can I die from spina bifida?

Most individuals who have spina bifida have a normal life span although they often have physical disabilities and health problems. Having said this, people who have severe types of the disorder, particularly those with open spinal openings not covered by skin, have an increased risk of infection and accordingly have a reduced life span.

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Spina Bifida

The birth defect spina bifida (SPY-na BIFF-uh-duh) is a type of neural tube defect. A neural tube defect is a problem with the spinal cord, brain and/or their protective coverings caused by the fetus spine failing to close complet...

ely during the first month of pregnancy. This spinal opening can result in nerve damage and spinal cord defects. Within 24 hours after birth, surgery to close the newborns spinal opening is normally performed, but the nerve damage is permanent. This nerve damage can cause paralysis of the legs, learning disabilities, bowel problems or an accumulation of fluid in the brain (hydrocephalus). There is no cure for spina bifida. Treatments include surgery, medication and physiotherapy and depend on the complications related to nerve damage. Taking folic acid can help you reduce the risk of having a baby with spina bifida.
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Important: This content reflects information from various individuals and organizations and may offer alternative or opposing points of view. It should not be used for medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. As always, you should consult with your healthcare provider about your specific health needs.