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Congenital disorders – Introduction

A congenital disorder (also known as a congenital disease, birth defect, or congenital abnormality) develops prenatally with some being identifiable before birth, and others at birth or beyond.

The range of congenital disorders is vast, as is the impact they can have on the person.  For example, a cleft palate and Spina Bifida are both congenital disorders but with very different impacts on long-term health and wellbeing, as well as functional independence or childhood development.

Heart defects, neural tube defects and Down’s syndrome are the most common types of congenital disorder, resulting in a wide range of needs, supported by the NHS, social care, and family.

Although many congenital disorders can be treated successfully, those that impact on neurology, skull and brain formation are likely to have a life-long impact, requiring a combination of carer support, equipment and an environment that supports independence, dignity, and risk management.

The bathroom environment is such a personal space that its design requires careful consideration.  Whether the person is mobile or hoisted, is continent or incontinent, has care provision or is independent, using the toilet and managing hygiene is a basic right, meaning that many people with long-term, often complex needs, would benefit from a Closomat wash and dry toilet.

Reasons why the Closomat Vita Range of Wash and Dry Toilets can help

The Vita Range has a built-in wash and dry function providing complete hands-free toileting. The user remains seated after their bowel movement and activates the douche spray which cleans and then dries them (over a clean pan).

Where activation of the standard elbow levers may be beyond the capabilities of the user, additional methods can be added. Most relevant in this case would be the Touch Sensitive Hand/Foot Switch, which only requires the lightest of pressure to give you the flush, wash and dry functions.

For users that may spend a longer than average time on the toilet, or suffer from postural sensitivity, the Vita Range can be equipped with a choice of soft feel seats, that are navy blue in colour.

Palma Vita + Touch Sensitive Hand/Foot Switch


Clinical Description

Thalidomide is a drug that was marketed as a sedative and treatment for morning sickness in pregnant women in the late 50s and early 60s. This drug subsequently caused babies to be born with a range of disabilities.

Typical presentation of symptoms in the patient.
Thalidomide created a range of disabilities in babies, including;

Shortening and absence of limbs.

Malformation of hands and digits.

Damage to ears and eyes.

Sensory impairment.

Facial disfigurement/palsy.

Damage to the brain, internal organs and skeletal structure.

Kevin D, who lives with the effects of Thalidomide poisoning, moved from a flat to a bungalow in Crosby, to give him and his young family more space.


The bungalow will be a forever home, for me, my fiancée, our daughter and my Closomat Wash and Dry Toilet! I just couldn’t be without it, it gives me so much independence and dignity. I have stunted arms so would not be able to clean myself after toileting. The Closomat does all that for me.

Gentleman with the Congenital Disorder Thalidomide next to his Closomat toilet

Other Customer Studies

Hints and tips for bathroom design: Spina Bifida

Hints and tips for bathroom design: Spina Bifida

Occupational therapy tips for toilet training

Occupational therapy tips for toilet training

On the move…with his toilet!

On the move…with his toilet!

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