Genetics

Fayette County Health Department
  Putting the Genetic Puzzle Together



Who Needs a Genetic Evaluation?        
  • A child with multiple birth defects or medical problems, such as a heart defect, or cleft lip with or without a cleft palate, or hearing or vision loss.
  • A child who is "slow", has developmental delay, is learning disabled, needs special education in school or has mental retardation.
  • A child who is failing to thrive, or has short stature.
  • A teenager who fails to enter puberty.


Who Needs Genetic Counseling?        
  • A family member of a child who has multiple medical problems, birth defects or has learning concerns.
  • A family member of a person with a known genetic condition or chromosomal abnormality.
  • A person who has concerns about exposure during pregnancy to alcohol, drugs, chemicals, radiation or infection.
  • A woman who has had two or more miscarriages or babies who were stillborn.
  • A person who has had 2 or more children die of SIDS.
  • A person who has concerns about genetic problems that occur more often in people of their ethnic background.
  • A person with a family history of breast or colon cancer, if there are several people in the family with breast or colon cancer.


What is a Genetic Clinic?        
A clinic that is staffed by a medical geneticist (a doctor who specializes in genetics), a genetic counselor and a nurse.

The geneticist or genetic counselor will ask you questions about the health of each member of your family.  Any medical records or family photographs
need to be presented at this time.

The geneticist will examine and talk with members of the family to determine if there is a possible genetic condition.

Laboratory tests (blood or urine samples) may be needed to help make a diagnosis or to look for any other medical problems.

If there is a genetic condition in the family, the geneticist will talk about what this means.  They will explain the symptoms of the condition and what you
can expect to happen in the future.

The genetic counselor will talk with you about how the genetic condition is passed down in the family and your chance for being diagnosed with the
condition or having a child with the condition.


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Physicians and genetic counselors from the Cardinal Glennon Hospital provide physical evaluations and offer genetic counseling services at the
Fayette County Health Department.

If you are interested in a genetic referral, call or have your doctor call.

Fayette County Health Department
416 W. Edwards
Vandalia, Illinois 62471-0340

618-283-1044

Resources:        
Genetics in the News