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Advances in Neonatal Care:
doi: 10.1016/j.adnc.2005.02.006
Cultivating clinical expertise: FOCUS ON THE PHYSICAL

PART 2. PHYSICAL ASSESSMENT OF THE INFANT WITH CLEFT LIP AND/OR PALATE

MERRITT, LINDA RNC, MSN

Section Editor(s): FURDON, SUSAN A. RNC, MS, NNP; CLARK, DAVID A. MD

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Abstract

Cleft lip and cleft palate (CL/CP) are the most commonly occurring craniofacial birth defects. Although some CL/CPs are detected on prenatal ultrasound, the majority are immediately recognized in the delivery room. Part 1 of this 2-part article, “Understanding the Embryology and Genetics of Cleft Lip and Palate,” presented the embryology of the face, lip, and palate to help the clinician understand the timing, complexity, and factors that may influence the development of these defects. Part 2 provides clinicians with the tools needed to obtain a detailed family and pregnancy history to evaluate for known associated risk factors. It provides a guide for a systematic physical assessment of the infant with CL/CP along with key areas of assessment for other midline defects or physical findings consistent with associated syndromes. Pictures of a variety of types of CL/CP are included to enhance understanding of these defects. Treatment and long-term complications of CL/CP are reviewed with an emphasis on family support, identifying educational resources, and counseling.

© 2005 National Association of Neonatal Nurses

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