Maryland to Begin Newborn Screening for Critical Congenital Heart Disease

BALTIMORE (August 29, 2012) – On September 1, 2012, Maryland will begin newborn screening for Critical Congenital Heart Disease (CCHD).  There are many forms of congenital heart disease, but CCHD is any heart defect present at birth that can potentially cause serious illness or death in the first weeks of life if not diagnosed and treated. 
CCHD screening was added in 2011 to the federal Recommended Uniform Screening Panel, the list of items recommended by the Secretary of Health and Human Services to be included in newborn screening. Currently, New Jersey and Indiana are screening, with several more states planning to begin in the near future.
 
CCHD can often be identified prenatally by ultrasound, but at least 40 percent of cases are still missed.  Newborn screening involves the use of pulse oximetry, a painless test that involves wrapping one sensor around a baby’s hand and one around their foot to measure the saturation of oxygen in their blood.  The sensor uses light absorption to measure oxygen saturation, and the test takes only a few minutes. 
 
Approximately 140 infants are born in Maryland each year with CCHD.  Their heart condition is often diagnosed before birth or due to symptoms after birth.  However, there are infants who appear well at birth, but become critically ill over the first days and weeks of life as their circulation adapts to life outside the womb.
 
“Safeguarding the health of Maryland infants is a top priority for our state, and this simple screening will help accomplish this goal,” said Frances Phillips, Deputy Secretary for Public Health Services.
 
Newborn screening will not identify all cases of CCHD, but it will improve the detection rate when combined with a thorough physical examination.  The screening will also identify other causes of low oxygen saturation in the blood, such as infections or lung disease. All Maryland birthing hospitals will arrange for immediate follow-up evaluation of an infant with abnormal screening results. As with any screening test, some tests could result in false-positives, with reassuring findings on follow-up.
 
Educational webinars have been created for hospital and birthing center staff to provide recommendations and guidelines for screening.  Please visit the Office for Genetics and People with Special Health Care Needs CCHD screening website for more provider or parent information at http://fha.dhmh.maryland.gov/genetics/SitePages/CCHDScreeningProgram.aspx.  You can also contact the office by phone at 410-767-6730, or access our resource line at 1-800-638-8864 for information about health care resources.
 

Substance Abuse Help

 

Zika Information

 

Rabies Information


     

WCHD News

Snow Hill, MD-National Great American Smokeout Day returns on November 15. For individuals thinking about quitting smoking, this is the perfect time to take that first step. The Great American Smokeout may offer just the support you need by knowing that other smokers are also giving up cigarettes for the day.

Read more ...

Know your risk and prevention strategies.

Snow Hill, MD- November marks National Diabetes Awareness Month and Worcester County Health Department (WCHD) is encouraging both those with diabetes and those at-risk for developing the disease to use healthy practices and prevention techniques this fall and winter. For those already living with diabetes, WCHD sponsors a free monthly diabetes support group monthly every third Wednesday, from 1 p.m. to 2 p.m. at the Snow Hill Library. A Registered Dietitian and Community Health Educator facilitate the support group and the monthly topics help participants reinforce self-management skills.

Read more ...

 

SNOW HILL, Md. – The Worcester County Health Department urges all residents age 6 months and older, including pregnant women and those with medical conditions, to be vaccinated for the 2018-2019 seasonal flu. People age 65 years and older have a choice of two flu vaccines available to them at the Worcester County Health Department. They can choose to receive a regular flu vaccine or a high dose flu vaccine which may result in a stronger immune response against the flu.

Read more ...

Pertussis, or whooping cough, is a highly contagious respiratory disease caused by the bacterium Bordetella pertussis.

This bacterium is found in the nose, throat and mouth of an infected person, and can be easily spread. Pertussis can occur at any age, but often causes serious problems in babies, and is usually milder in older children and adults. Children who are too young to be fully vaccinated and those that have not received all their vaccinations are at highest risk for severe illness and complications. Complications of pertussis can include pneumonia (infection of the lungs), encephalitis (inflammation of the brain), seizures, and other physical and medical outcomes associated with a severe cough.

Read more ...

Our new Just Walk Worcester website has information on local parks, walking tips, and videos of trails in our area. If you like to walk, check it out! Click the image below to see the new site. 

 

Read more ...
 Lower Shore Health Insurance Assistance Program