Birth Defects Surveillance Program

Epidemiology and Birth Defects Surveillance

  • Fetal Death Certificate
  • NAS Surveillance
  • CCHD
  • Microcephaly

The Florida Department of Health (FDOH) operates and manages the Florida Birth Defects Registry (FBDR) ( It is one of the largest, population-based birth defects surveillance systems in the United States, identifying birth defects in Florida since 1998. The FBDR relies on passive case ascertainment, in which multiple administrative datasets, such as hospital discharge data or service related databases, are linked and scanned for diagnoses indicative of birth defects.  

Since 2004, the FDOH has partnered with the Birth Defects Surveillance Program (BDSP) on several enhanced surveillance of birth defects projects. The main purpose of these projects are to confirm suspected cases of selected birth defects that have been identified by diagnosis codes in administrative datasets and collect detailed clinical information in order to enhance the quality of birth defects surveillance data in Florida. More recently, due to the link between Zika virus and serious birth defects, the FDOH and BDSP have expanded the list of birth defects being confirmed to include microcephaly and other conditions of the brain and central nervous system in order to carefully monitor their prevalence. Lastly, the BDSP also conducts enhanced surveillance of Neonatal Abstinence Syndrome, a postnatal drug withdrawal syndrome that occurs primarily among opioid-exposed infants.