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.
 

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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.

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All services at this site have been relocated to either Snow Hill or the Berlin Health Center. We apologize for any inconvenience. For more information or to check on the status of your appointment, please call 410-632-1100.

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Snow Hill, MD- Worcester County Health Department will launch “Just Walk Worcester” on October 12. This new website will be an inclusive resource for finding places to walk and explore no matter where you are in the county. The site features maps of all local parks and trails as well as walking tips, helpful videos, and details about each area including the length of trails, if there are any fees and if the spot is pet-friendly. Residents can view drone footage of each trail, allowing walkers to know the ins and outs of the path before they even lace up their shoes.

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