Greene County General Hospital Honored for Hepatitis B Vaccine Birth Dose Rate
Linton, IN – July 5, 2016 – Greene County General Hospital has been recognized by the Immunization Action Coalition (IAC) and the Indiana State Department of Health for achieving one of the highest reported rates in the state for its work to protect newborns from hepatitis B virus infection
“Hepatitis B is a significant threat to the health of mothers and babies,” said Teresa Hutton, OB Nurse Manager. “This is a bloodborne virus that is sexually transmitted and can infect up to 90% of infants at birth. At Greene County General Hospital, we are committed to protecting newborns from this virus by administering the first hepatitis B vaccine within 12 hours of birth to each newborn.”
Greene County General Hospital is the newest entry into IAC’s Birth Dose Honor Roll (www.immunize.org/honor-roll/birthdose), which recognizes hospitals and birthing centers that have attained high coverage levels for administering the hepatitis B vaccine at birth. Hutton says that her department has immunized 96% of babies during the 2014 calendar year, and numbers for 2015 will soon be submitted. The hospital also took additional steps to prevent perinatal transmission of Hepatitis B.
The national standard of care to prevent hepatitis B virus infection in babies is to administer hepatitis B vaccine to all newborns before they leave the hospital or birthing center. This standard is being adopted by centers of healthcare excellence nationwide as a safety net to protect newborns from a wide range of medical errors that lead to babies being unprotected from perinatal hepatitis B infection.
“Hospitals and birthing centers have a responsibility to protect babies from life-threatening hepatitis B infection,” said Deborah Wexler, MD, executive director and founder of IAC. “Greene County General Hospital’s commitment to the best practice of hepatitis B vaccination at birth has shown them to be a leader in preventing the transmission of the hepatitis B virus.”
Greene County General Hospital’s Obstetrics Department offers around the clock care with skilled physicians on call and professional, compassionate staff. Services include anesthesiology and C-section; neonatal care, circumcision, and phototherapy; outpatient testing (including non-stress tests and contraction stress tests); individualized care and private rooms; and patient education on breastfeeding, safety, and self-care. The hospital also offers the Sweet Dreams Baby Bundles program, providing expectant mothers a full continuum of prenatal care and education and supplies for safe sleep, smoking cessation, and more in an effort to reduce infant mortality rates. The Baby Bundles program has been recognized by the state of Indiana’s Bicentennial Commission as an official Legacy Project.