The New Mexico Department of Health's Immunization Program recently recognized several birthing hospitals that excelled in administering Hepatitis B vaccine to newborn infants. This year, the Department acknowledged UNM Hospital as Best Hospital in Region 1, 3. Infants who become infected with hepatitis B virus (HBV) around the time of birth have a 90 percent risk of chronic infection, and up to 25 percent will die of chronic liver disease as adults, said Diane Jay, the Department of Health's Perinatal Hepatitis B Coordinator.
The Department of Health honors hospitals every two years and recognizes the efforts hospitals use to ensure newborns receive this important vaccine. These hospital "best practices" include: Hepatitis B vaccine rates, comprehensive standing orders for the administration of hepatitis B vaccine and HBIG; a copy of the HBsAg lab result is placed in both maternal and infant medical records; and recording the birth dose of Hepatitis B in New Mexico's immunization registry.