Home > Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, children and families, health and health care > Newborn Screening for Critical Congenital Heart Disease: Potential Roles of Birth Defects Surveillance Programs — United States, 2010–2011

Newborn Screening for Critical Congenital Heart Disease: Potential Roles of Birth Defects Surveillance Programs — United States, 2010–2011

December 4, 2012

Newborn Screening for Critical Congenital Heart Disease: Potential Roles of Birth Defects Surveillance Programs — United States, 2010–2011

Source: Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report (CDC)

In September 2011, the Secretary of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) approved the Secretary’s Advisory Committee on Heritable Disorders in Newborns and Children (SACHDNC) 2010 recommendation that all newborns be screened for critical congenital heart disease (CCHD) using pulse oximetry, a noninvasive test of blood oxygenation, to prevent mortality and morbidity (1). CDC partnered with the National Birth Defects Prevention Network (NBDPN) to conduct a survey designed to assess state birth defect surveillance programs’ potential roles, capabilities, and readiness to assist with newborn screening activities for CCHD. States were surveyed in November 2010, after the initial SACHDNC recommendation, and again in November 2011, after the Secretary’s approval. From 2010 to 2011, the number of birth defects surveillance programs involved in CCHD screening increased from one to 10. Barriers exist, such as the lack of legislative authority, staffing, funding, and informatics infrastructure. Sixty-seven percent of programs take an average of more than 12 months to collect complete data on birth defect cases, including congenital heart defects. An assessment of state birth defects programs’ existing data and capability to lead the evaluation of screening for CCHD is warranted.

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