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Updates/News

December 2013

Influenza Update

The 2012–2013 influenza season has begun. The Centers for Disease Control (CDC) and South Carolina Department of Health and Environmental Control (SCDHEC) are recommending that all persons (>6 months of age) be vaccinated during the 2013-2014 season (Universal Vaccination). Please advocate that pregnant women receive the influenza vaccine. For more information go to: http://www.cdc.gov/flu/

Pregnant Women and the Flu Vaccine - Fact Sheet

CDC Guidelines for Vaccination During Pregnancy

CDC Guidelines for Vaccinations During Pregnancy Chart

SCDHEC Influenza Resources

October 2013

DHEC stresses sleep safety to reduce infant deaths

COLUMBIA, S.C. – The South Carolina Department of Health and Environmental Control is reminding parents to follow recommended safe sleep practices for infants, the agency announced today. 

”The infant mortality rate in South Carolina saw a slight increase from 7.4 deaths per 1,000 live births in 2011 to 7.6 deaths in 2012, due in part to a substantial increase in sleep-related accidents,” said Dr. Lisa Waddell, deputy director of Preventive Health Services at DHEC. ”Most of these accidents can be prevented with safe sleep practices.”

New data released today by DHEC shows the number of infant deaths caused by accidents increased by 36.7%, from 30 deaths in 2011 to 41 in 2012. Suffocation and strangulation in bed accounted for nearly all of these accidents, rising from 21 deaths in 2011 to 39 in 2012.

Dr. Waddell said one of the best ways to prevent sleep related deaths is by following the A,B,C’s of Safe Sleep – leave your baby Alone on their Back in their Crib. She also recommends never smoking around your baby, as second-hand smoke can contribute to sudden, unexplained infant death.

Click here for more information on recommended infant safe sleep practices.

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**This article was reproduced from the SCDHEC website in it's entirety***

June 2013

Emerson Rose Act

The Emerson Rose Act was introduced to legislation in South Carolina April, 2013. The bill would:

REQUIRE EACH BIRTHING FACILITY LICENSED BY THE DEPARTMENT OF HEALTH AND ENVIRONMENTAL CONTROL TO PERFORM A PULSE OXIMETRY SCREENING ON EVERY NEWBORN IN ITS CARE, WHEN THE BABY IS TWENTY-FOUR TO FORTY-EIGHT HOURS OF AGE, OR AS LATE AS POSSIBLE IF THE BABY IS DISCHARGED FROM THE HOSPITAL BEFORE REACHING TWENTY-FOUR HOURS OF AGE.

The bill can be viewed at:

http://scstatehouse.gov/billsearch.php?billnumbers=341&session=120&summary=B

 

December 2012

South Carolina Birth Outcomes Initiative

South Carolina Birth Outcomes Initiative (BOI) is an effort by the South Carolina Department of Health and Human Services (SCDHHS) and its partners to improve the health of newborns in the Medicaid program. Launched in July 2011, the BOI is focused on achieving five key goals:

1. Elimination of Non-Medically Necessary Deliveries Less than 39 Weeks Gestation

2. Reduction in the Length of Stay for Infants in the Neonatal Intensive Care Unit

3. Target Health Disparities for Minority Women

4. Access to Affordable Progesterone Treatments that Can Help Reduce Preterm Births

5. Implement a Screening Tool to Assess for Substance Abuse, Depression and Domestic Violence Among Pregnant Women

Forty-Two hospitals in South Carolina that deliver babies have signed a pledge to end the practice of elective deliveries prior to 39 weeks for Medicaid participants. Early elective deliveries, including cesarean sections prior to 39 weeks account for approximately 13% of all South Carolina births. SCDHHS and BlueCross BlueShield of South Caolrina have announced that they will no longer provide coverage for deliveries that occur due to non-medical reasons starting January 1, 2013. SCDHHS and BlueCross account for 85% of all births in the state.  

Medical Indications for Delivery Less Than 39 Weeks

BOI Modifier Flow Diagram

For more information visit: http://www.scdhhs.gov/service/south-carolina-birth-outcomes-initiative

National Perinatal Association Late Preterm Infant Guidelines

The National Perinatal Association has partnered with several organizations to create a multidisciplinary guideline for the care of the late preterm infant. "These guidelines give health care providers and others a road map that focuses attention on the unique needs of late preterm infants from birth through early childhood, helping to ensure potential health risks aren't overlooked" (nationalperinatal.org). Click here to view or download the Late Preterm Infant Guidelines.

For more information visit: http://www.nationalperinatal.org  

October 2012

Text 4 Baby

The United States (US) has one of the highest infant mortality rates in the industrialized world. Each year in the US, 1 in 8 babies are born prematurely and 28,000 die before their first birthday. In an effort to promote maternal and child health in the US, a free mobile information service was developed. This service provides pregnant women and new moms information to help them care for themselves and give their babies the best possible start in life. 

Text 4 Baby has a diverse partnership with agencies such as: Voxiva; Healthy Mothers/Healthy Babies; CTIA: the Department of Health and Human Services and Johnson and Johnson just to name a few. Participating mobile partners have agreed to deliver Text 4 Baby to their subscribers at no cost. Here's how it works:

  • Users register via text or website: Text "BABY" or "BEBE" to 511411
  • Users give their zip code and due date/DOB
  • If a woman is pregnant, she will receive a starter pack of 6 key messages over a 2 week time period
  • Users will receive free health messages 3 times/week
  • Messages will end on the baby's first birthday, or if the user text "STOP"

The text messages have been created utilizing an expert review process. They are relevant on critical issues and alert users to time sensitive information. South Carolina now has a Test 4 Baby Coalition overseen by SCDHEC that will allow organizations to work together and increase the state's potential for success with raising awareness about Maternal Child Health issues. To become a partner at no cost to your organization, visit: http://www.text4baby.org 

January 2012

Recommendation for Pulse Oximetry Screening for Critical Congenital Heart Disease

Recently the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) has given the full endorsement of the Secretary of Health and Human Services stating that critical congenital heart diseases should be screened via pulse oximetry during the newborn assessment. The AAP has published strategies for the implementation of pulse oximetry screening. For more information on these strategies you may visit: http://www.aap.orgClick here to view the full article by the AAP