Infant hepatitis prevention earns 'Gold Award' for Adams Memorial

    A recent Indiana State Department of Health survey has shown that Adams Memorial Hospital is one of the best in the state in making sure children born at its location are immunized against the Hepatitis B virus.
     ISDH public health investigator Rupert E. Arceo recently presented hospital officials with a “Gold Award”  in recognition of the facilities' practices in the prevention of perinatal Hepatitis B infections.
    Arceo said there are 98 hospitals in Indiana that deliver babies. Through a four-year project with the Centers for Disease Control, ISDH officials have surveyed roughly 25 hospitals a year, with facilities earning a “Gold,” “Silver,” or “Bronze” award.  On average, said Arceo, about two to three hospitals a year receive “Gold” status.
    During the survey, the ISDH randomly selected records of mothers and infants. Results of the latest survey noted that 190 live births were recorded at Adams Memorial Hospital in 2010 and there were zero Hepatitis B positive deliveries.
    Adams Memorial administers hepatitis vaccines to newborns prior to their discharge from the hospital or within 12 hours of birth if the baby tests positive for the virus.
    Parents of children born at the hospital have the option of declining the vaccine if they are opposed on religious grounds, or other reasons, a hospital spokesperson said.
    Of all of the required childhood immunizations, only the Hepatitis B shot is given right after delivery in the hospital and is the first of a series of three shots, with the others to be given at between one-two months of age and then again at six months.
    During the ceremony, Arceo told AMH Chief Executive Officer Tom Nordwick, "The Adams County community should be comforted in knowing the AMH staff does an outstanding job" in following national standards and guidelines regarding “Best Practices.”