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Kentucky Birth Surveillance Registry

Kentucky Birth Surveillance Registry
275 E. Main St. HS2W-A
Frankfort, KY 40621

Phone: (502) 564-4830
Toll free: (800) 462-6122
Fax: (502) 564-1510

Sept. 9 is International Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorders Awareness Day
More information from the CDC website  Kentucky logo designating an external link

Cause and Prevention

Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorders can occur when mothers drink alcohol during pregnancy and alcohol in the mother's blood passes to the baby through the umbilical cord. To prevent FASDs a woman should not drink alcohol while pregnant or when she might get pregnant.

Signs and Symptoms-

FASDs refer to the whole range of effects that can happen to a person whose mother drank alcohol during pregnancy. These conditions can affect each person in different ways, and can range from mild to severe. A person with an FASD might have:

  • Abnormal facial features, such as a smooth ridge between the nose and upper lip
  • Small head size
  • Shorter-than-average height
  • Low body weight
  • Poor coordination
  • Hyperactive behavior
  • Difficulty with attention
  • Poor memory
  • Difficulty in school (especially with math)
  • Learning disabilities
  • Speech and language delays
  • Intellectual disability or low IQ
  • Poor reasoning and judgment skills
  • Sleep and sucking problems as a baby
  • Vision or hearing problems
  • Problems with the heart, kidneys or bones

Learn more about the criteria for diagnosis   Kentucky logo designating an external link


FASDs last a lifetime and there is no cure; but, research shows that early intervention treatment services can improve a child’s development. Treatment options include medication to help with some symptoms, behavior and education therapy, parent training and other approaches. No one treatment is right for every child; but, good treatment plans will include close monitoring, follow ups and changes as needed along the way.

Learn more about treatments   Kentucky logo designating an external link

What is the Kentucky Birth Surveillance Registry (KBSR)?

The KBSR is a state-mandated surveillance system designed to provide information on the incidence, prevalence, trends and possible causes of stillbirths, birth defects and disabling conditions. The KBSR collects information on children from birth to age diagnosed with any structural, functional or biochemical abnormality. The system relies primarily on hospital, vital statistics and laboratory reporting. KBSR is administered by the Department for Public Health in the Cabinet for Health and Family Services.
The KBSR was developed through a collaboration with the March of Dimes, the Kentucky Hospital Association, KBSR Advisory Committee and advocacy organizations to develop an information collection system. The KBSR collects information on inpatients from acute care hospitals and birthing centers. Reporting is required by medical laboratories licensed in Kentucky. Hospital outpatient reporting is voluntary. The KBSR operates under the authority of KRS 211.651-670.


The legislation provides strict confidentiality guidelines for the registry. All identifying information is strictly safeguarded and is protected by state law from unauthorized release.

Legislation regarding KBSR  

KAR 902, Chapter 19, # 10 - Kentucky Birth Surveillance Registry

KRS Chapter 211 # 651 - Definitions for KRS 211.651 to 211.670

KRS Chapter 211 # 655 -  Legislative findings and statement of intent

KRS Chapter 211 # 660 - Kentucky birth surveillance registry -- Department's authority to promulgate administrative regulations

KRS Chapter 211 # 665 - Advisory committee -- Duties

KRS Chapter 211 # 670 - Confidentiality of registry reports and records -- Use of information

KBSR Reportable ICD-9 Codes 

The Mission of the KBSR

The mission of the KBSR program is to develop and implement a Birth Surveillance Registry that promotes early and accurate identification of children with birth anomalies and other disabling conditions and facilitate prevention, planning and service delivery in the Commonwealth of Kentucky.

The Objectives of the KBSR


  • Create and maintain a registry of birth defects in Kentucky 
  • Analyze the patterns of birth defects in Kentucky
  • Monitor data for changes in rates through time and geography
  • Respond to requests for aggegrate data
  • Evaluate timeliness and quality of data on birth defects
  • Compile and disseminate surveillance data


  • Facilitate research studies to help identify causes of birth defects


  • Support the education of the general public and health professionals about the causes, surveillance, impact and prevention of birth defects


  • Refer identified children and their families to appropriate services
  • Evaluate referral program
Why a Birth Surveillance Registry?

baby in intensive care unit

Birth defects are the leading cause of infant mortality in Kentucky and contribute significantly to childhood morbidity and long-term disability. High lifetime costs to families and society are associated with birth defects. Unique characteristics of Kentucky may lead to an increased prevalence of certain birth defects, including spina bifida and birth defects associated with babies born to mothers with diabetes. High poverty and low educational levels, high teen pregnancy rates and an increasingly diverse population all contribute to increased risks for major birth defects in Kentucky.

Recommendations for a Healthy Pregnancy
  • Take a multivitamin that contains 400 mcg of folic acid every day.
  • Have regular medical checkups.
  • Talk to your health care provider about any medical problems and medicine uses (both over-the-counter and prescription). Ask about avoiding any substances at work or home that might be harmful to a developing baby.
  • Keep vaccinations updated.
  • Avoid eating raw or undercooked meat.
  • Avoid alcohol, tobacco and street drugs.


Last Updated 9/10/2015