Terri Escobar, M.P.A.
San Antonio, TX 78217
The Birth Defects Epidemiology and Surveillance Branch (BDES) encompasses two major components: the Texas Birth Defects Registry and the Texas Center for Birth Defects Research and Prevention. In order to respond to community concerns about excess occurrence of birth defects, the Texas Birth Defects Registry was established to identify and describe the patterns of birth defects in Texas through operation of an active surveillance system. This entails staff routinely visiting all hospitals and birthing centers where affected children are delivered or treated. Staff review logs to find potential cases, and medical records to identify those indicating one or more birth defects. Information is abstracted from medical records on pregnancies with birth defects delivered to residents of Texas and includes birth defect diagnoses; medical tests and procedures; gestational age; delivery information; illnesses, complications, maternal exposures; demographic information. All information is held in strict confidence in accordance with state and federal privacy laws. We also collaborate with researchers in finding causes of birth defects, working towards prevention and linking families with services.
Texas Birth Defects Epidemiology and Surveillance Branch