In a recent letter to Indiana's health care professionals, Indiana state health commissioner Jerome Adams, MD, issued a reminder that January is Birth Defects Awareness Month. As you may know, birth defects are one of the leading causes of infant mortality, and the costs (both monetary and non-monetary) to individuals, families, communities, and the health care industry are substantial. Birth defects affect about one in every 33 babies born in Indiana each year and with the recent link between prenatal viral exposures (i.e. Zika) and the resulting neurological disorders, it is as important as ever to accurately identify the presence of birth defects. Indiana law (IC 16-38-4) requires all health care providers to report children who are diagnosed with at least one birth defect in your office to the Indiana Birth Defects and Problems Registry (IBDPR). Reports from your office will be automatically entered into the IBDPR database as confirmed diagnoses and assist the Indiana State Department of Health (ISDH) in providing timely, appropriate follow-up information and education to families.
Read Dr. Adams' full letter here (PDF file).