Dr. Russell Kirby talks Gastroschisis with Reuters

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Gastroschisis: a birth defect that causes a hole to form in a baby’s abdomen.

Never heard of it? Not surprised, it’s rare with only 2-3 cases reported per 10,000 live births in the United States.

This statistic is one that Russell Kirby, PhD, knows inside and out. For the past eleven years, he led a study on Gastroschisis and discovered the birth defect has doubled since 1995.


In an interview with Reuters, Kirby shared, “We have a pattern where the prevalence is very much highest among young women and it’s growing more rapidly among that group than any other group.”

Dr. Kirby is a professor and the Marrell Endowed Chair in the USF College of Public Health, Department of Community and Family Health. He directs the USF Birth Defects Surveillance Program and advises the Maternal and Child Health Student Organization. In April, graduate students in public health presented him with the 2013 Outstanding Professor Award.

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Rare birth defect on the rise

Key Findings:  Gastroschisis increased from 1995-2005