Platte Valley Medical Center (PVMC) was recently recognized by the Immunization Action Coalition (IAC) and the Colorado State Department of Public Health and Environment (CDPHE) for achieving one of the highest reported rates in the administration of the Hepatitis B vaccine at birth.
Hepatitis B (HBV) is a serious disease caused by the hepatitis B virus which attacks the liver. It is highly infectious and easily spread from an infected mother to her newborn. For a newborn infant who becomes infected with the hepatitis B virus, there is a 90% chance the infant will become a chronic carrier of the hepatitis B virus. Chronic carriers have a 25% lifetime chance of developing cirrhosis, liver cancer, liver failure, and death. With an estimated 800 U.S. newborns chronically infected with hepatitis B each year, staff at PVMC felt it was imperative that PVMC’s newborn population receive the vaccination.
“With the recognition from the IAC and the CDPHE, PVMC is one of only five hospitals within Colorado, and 74 nationally, to receive this honor. It validates that we are making a difference in the health of our newborn population,” said PVMC’s Women’s and Newborn Center Director Carri Montgomery. “We immunized greater than 90 percent of the babies born at PVMC in 2013 and took additional steps to prevent Perinatal transmission of hepatitis B.”
The national standard of care to prevent hepatitis B virus infections in babies is to administer the Hepatitis B vaccine to all newborns before they leave the hospital or birthing center. This standard is followed by PVMC.
“Hospitals and birthing centers have a responsibility to protect babies from life-threatening hepatitis B infection,” said the Executive Director and Founder of IAC Deborah Wexler, M.D. “Platte Valley Medical Center’s commitment to best practice, providing hepatitis B vaccination at birth, has shown them to be a leader in preventing the transmission of hepatitis B virus”.
Platte Valley Medical Center continues to strive for excellence in patient safety and quality and is proud to be in the elite class of hospitals recognized for their work in preventing Hepatitis B in newborns.