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Delaware Birth Defects Surveillance Registry Program

What is a Birth Defect?

A birth defect is an abnormality of structure, function or body chemistry present at birth. Several thousand different birth defects have been identified. Some are mild; others can cause serious physical or mental disabilities or even death.

Birth defects have been the leading cause of infant mortality in the United States for the past 20 years, accounting for more than 1 in 5 infant deaths

Each year, about 150,000 babies are born with birth defects, about 3 percent of live births.

Millions of dollars are spent every year for the care and treatment of children with birth defects.

Some common birth defects include:

  • Heart malformations
  • Cleft palate and/or lip
  • Down syndrome
  • Spina bifida

What is the Birth Defects Registry?

The Delaware Birth Defects Registry is a statewide program that collects and analyzes information on children with birth defects. By collecting information for a statewide registry, public health officials hope to identify health, environmental and genetic risk factors which could lead to pinpointing the causes and prevalence of birth defects.

The Delaware Birth Defects Registry is designed to collect information on children diagnosed under the age of 5 with a birth defect. The children are residents of Delaware or their parents are Delaware residents.

Confidentiality is a key component of the program. All information is kept in utmost confidence using strict security measures.

Medical providers may print the Birth Defects Reporting Form ( available in pdf or in text ) from this site and fax or mail it to the Birth Defects Registry Office listed on the form.

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