WASHINGTON—U.S. Sen. Jeff Sessions (R-AL), along with his colleague Sen. Ben Cardin (D-MD), issued the following statement today after the Senate unanimously approved a resolution designating April 2013 as Congenital Diaphragmatic Hernia (CDH) month. Sessions, and his wife Mary’s grandson, Jim Beau, is a CDH survivor:
“I am pleased that the Senate has unanimously declared April 2013 as National Congenital Diaphragmatic Hernia Awareness month. By joining together, we can help raise awareness of this serious birth defect. Early detection, good prenatal care, and awareness are vital for the survival, and healthy future, of the children born with this defect.
CDH is a dangerous birth defect that occurs in 1 in every 2,500 babies and yet is relatively unknown. It occurs when the diaphragm fails to fully form, allowing abdominal organs into the chest cavity and preventing lung growth. Babies born with CDH may endure extended hospital stays in intensive care and complex surgeries to treat the defect. CDH survivors often face long term complications and sometimes endure mechanical ventilation dependency. Currently, there is no known cause of CDH. But, the good news is that with constantly improving medical care more and more CDH children are achieving full and healthy lives. We want to see this progress continue.
This resolution will increase awareness of CDH and promote the importance of prenatal care. It also requests that steps be taken to increase research on the causes, treatments, and cure of CDH. This resolution is supported CHERUBS The Association of Congenital Diaphragmatic Hernia Research, Awareness and Support.”