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Coloured X-ray of thalidomide child with deformity

Coloured X-ray of thalidomide child with deformity

M350/0200

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Credit

SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY

Caption

Thalidomide child. Coloured X-ray of the head and body of a child with limb deformities caused by the drug thalidomide. Bones of the skull and skeleton appear yellow. Both upper arm humerus bones are stunted (known as phocomelia), with the arm at centre most severely affected. Forearm and hand bones are absent. The leg at bottom centre also shows long-bone deformity. Thalidomide is a sedative sleeping drug that was introduced in Britain and Germany in the early 1960's. Prescrib- ed to some pregnant women, it was later found to cause foetal abnormalities involving limb malformation when taken during the first three months of pregnancy. The drug was later withdrawn.

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