Maternal / Newborn Question #51


The health care provider informs the parents of a 3-month-old infant admitted to the pediatric intensive care unit (PICU) that the infant has cystic fibrosis. The nurse caring for the infant with cystic fibrosis instructs the parents on cause for cystic fibrosis. Which statement by the parents indicates understanding about the cause of their infant’s diagnosis? Select all that apply.


  1. “I think only one of us needs to have the gene to have an affected child.”
  2. “It will take both of us having the recessive trait for cystic fibrosis to have a child with the disease.”
  3. “Our children will have a 50% chance of having the disease.”
  4. “Our children will have a 25% chance of having the disease.”


The correct answers are B and D. Cystic fibrosis is inherited via recessive trait that is carried by both parents. There is a 25% chance of having a child with the disease. The parents may also pass the trait as a recessive finding to the children without them having the actual disease, but the trait. If carrying the trait, the children may one day require genetic testing from those they intend to have children with to determine if the trait is present in both. Carrying the trait does not create the disease, but having both recessive traits in one child = the disease. The other choices A and C are incorrect.