We learned what Trisomy 18 is on Nov 17th, which is also represented by a Light Blue Ribbon, but I think it is worth revisiting for those that may have missed.

Trisomy 18 Explained

Trisomy 18 is a chromosomal abnormality. It’s also called Edwards syndrome, after the doctor who first described it.

Chromosomes are the threadlike structures in cells that hold genes. Genes carry the instructions needed to make every part of a baby’s body.

When an egg and sperm join and form an embryo, their chromosomes combine. Each baby gets 23 chromosomes from the mother’s egg and 23 chromosomes from the father’s sperm — 46 in total.

Sometimes the mother’s egg or the father’s sperm contains the wrong number of chromosomes. As the egg and sperm combine, this mistake is passed on to the baby.

A “trisomy” means that the baby has an extra chromosome in some or all of the body’s cells. In the case of trisomy 18, the baby has three copies of chromosome 18. This causes many of the baby’s organs to develop in an abnormal way.

There are three types of trisomy 18:

  • Full trisomy 18. The extra chromosome is in every cell in the baby’s body. This is by far the most common type of trisomy 18.
  • Partial trisomy 18.The child has only part of an extra chromosome 18. That extra part may be attached to another chromosome in the egg or sperm (called a translocation). This type of trisomy 18 is very rare.
  • Mosaic trisomy 18. The extra chromosome 18 is only in some of the baby’s cells. This form of trisomy 18 is also rare.

How Many Babies Have Trisomy 18?

Trisomy 18 is the second most common type of trisomy syndrome, after trisomy 21 (Down syndrome). About 1 in every 5,000 babies is born with trisomy 18, and most are female.

The condition is even more common than that, but many babies with trisomy 18 don’t survive past the second or third trimester of pregnancy.

Is There Any Treatment for Trisomy 18?

There is no cure for trisomy 18. Treatment for trisomy 18 consists of supportive medical care to keep the child comfortable and with the best quality of life possible.

What Is the Outlook for Babies With Trisomy 18?

Because trisomy 18 causes such serious physical defects, many babies with the condition don’t survive to birth. About half of babies who are carried full-term are stillborn. Boys with trisomy 18 are more likely to be stillborn than girls.

Of those babies who do survive, less than 10% live to reach their first birthday. Children who do live past that milestone often have severe health problems that require a large amount of care. Only a very small number of people with this condition live into their 20s or 30s.

Having a child with trisomy 18 can sometimes be emotionally overwhelming, and it’s important for parents to get support during this difficult time. Organizations such as the Chromosome 18 Registry & Research Society and the Trisomy 18 Foundation can help.

Read More and See the Symptoms Chart: http://www.webmd.com/baby/what-is-trisomy-18

Clint Elliot light blue trisomy 18