Cheryl Tibbitts, (left), Registered Nurse and Maternity Nurse Manager at Oneida Healthcare Center is presented with a Certificate of Excellence by Cheryl Geiler, Director of Preventative Health Services at Madison County Health Department for ensuring all babies born at the hospital are vaccinated against hepatitis B infection.
(Madison County, NY- June 2013) On Tuesday, June 18, Madison County Health Department recognized Oneida Healthcare Center for their success in saving lives as part of a comprehensive effort across the state to ensure all newborns receive hepatitis B vaccinations within 12 hours of birth.
Madison County Health Department Director of Preventative Health Services, Cheryl Geiler, PHN, presented Oneida Healthcare Center’s Maternity Nurse Manager, Cheryl Tibbitts, with a Certificate of Excellence for ensuring 100 percent of newborns are vaccinated against hepatitis B.
In 2006, New York established standards of care that called for all newborns to receive routine hepatitis B vaccinations at birth. This standard has led to improved protection for infants and young children who are not able to fight off the virus as well as adults.
To best protect infants from hepatitis B infection, they should get three doses: the first within the first 12 hours after birth, the second at one month, and the third at six months.
Hepatitis B infection is a major cause of acute and chronic hepatitis, cirrhosis of the liver and liver cancer. Approximately 24,000 U.S. women infected with chronic hepatitis B virus give birth each year; including many who are unaware they are infected. As a result, babies may be exposed to the virus from mother to infant during birth. Babies infected at birth have a greater than 90 percent chance of becoming chronically infected with hepatitis B, and one of every four infected babies will die of liver cancer or liver failure as adults.
Here are two calls to action for moms and mother’s to be:
- Stop infection by making sure your child is vaccinated. Contact your child’s doctor to make sure your child has had all doses of the Hepatitis B vaccine. Once vaccinated, your child should also be tested between the ages of 9 months and 18 months to make sure that the immunization was successful.
- Hepatitis can cause serious illness, so get yourself tested for Hepatitis B now; it’s also for your health.
For more information about hepatitis B or the vaccination go to www.healthymadisoncounty.org