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Definition of Phocomelia

Phocomelia: A birth defect in which the hands and feet are attached to abbreviated arms and legs. The term comes from phoco (meaning 'seal') and melia (meaning 'limb'), to indicate that a limb is like a seal's flipper, as in exposure of the developing fetus to thalidomide. Phocomelia may also, in some cases, be genetic.

Source: MedTerms™ Medical Dictionary
http://www.medicinenet.com/script/main/art.asp?articlekey=4877
Last Editorial Review: 3/19/2012

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