Today, State Representatives Louis Terhar (R-Cincinnati) and Terry Johnson (R-McDermott) applauded the passage of House Bill 490 by the Ohio House, legislation designating January 31st as Omphalocele Awareness Day.
An omphalocele is a birth defect of the abdominal wall that causes an infant's intestines, liver, or other organs to grow outside of the belly through the belly button. The organs are covered in a thin, nearly transparent sac that almost always requires surgery to correct.
“Because of great advances at our children’s hospitals, doctors are able to determine if a baby has developed an omphalocele while in the womb and are able to prepare for treatment and care when the baby is born,” said Rep. Terhar. “Often, if a baby has an omphalocele, there are other health conditions at hand, which can leave parents feeling helpless and concerned about their child’s outlook. Awareness for this birth defect is critical to ensure that correct diagnosis and treatment can lead to a long and happy life for a child.”
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention estimates that each year about 775 babies in the United States are born with an omphalocele. The causes of an omphalocele among most infants are unknown.
“God bless the little ones who are born with this serious condition, and may He continue to guide the hands of the surgeons who work so hard to give these kids a chance at a good and healthy life,” said Rep. Johnson.
This legislation seeks to raise public awareness and encourage medical research of this rare birth defect.
H.B. 490 passed unanimously and will now head to the Ohio Senate for further consideration.