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Congenital Amputation

Overview :

An estimated one in 2000 babies are born with all or part of a limb missing, ranging from a missing part of a finger to the absence of both arms and both legs. Congenital amputation is the least common reason for amputation. However, there are occasional periods in history where the number of congenital amputations increased. For example, the thalidomide tragedy of the early 1960s occurred after pregnant mothers in western Europe were given a tranquilizer containing the drug. The result was a drastic increase in the number of babies born with deformed limbs. In this example, the birth defect usually presented itself as very small, deformed versions of normal limbs. More recently, birth defects as a result of radiation exposure near the site of the Chernobyl disaster in Russia have left numerous children with malformed or absent limbs.

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