Delays in cleft palate detection are “unacceptable,” says royal college

BMJ 2014; 349 doi: (Published 16 October 2014) Cite this as: BMJ 2014;349:g6263
  1. Zosia Kmietowicz
  1. 1The BMJ

Examining a baby’s hard and soft palate should be part of the full newborn physical check, and the findings should be recorded, child health leaders have said.

New guidance from the Royal College of Paediatrics and Child Health said that a sixth (16%) of cleft palates in babies were undetected at first examination, putting the newborn at risk of poor nutrition and development.1

The report, Palate Examination: Identification of Cleft Palate in the Newborn, said, “Delay in diagnosis impacts significantly on parents, leading to anger and disappointment with healthcare professionals. Litigation brought for delayed detection …

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