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8/23/2022  |   1:00 PM - 1:25 PM   |  Governor General I

A Health System-wide Approach to Early Identification of Congenital CMV: 2-year data

CMV causes at least 10% of congenital hearing loss but there is no standard newborn screening protocol. Consequently, many babies who are otherwise asymptomatic are at risk of not being diagnosed. We have developed a term-newborn pre-discharge enhanced targeted CMV testing program. At least 40,000 babies are born annually at Northwell Health’s ten birth hospitals, which constitutes about 1% of U.S. births. Prior to our program, testing was inconsistent and driven largely by known maternal infection or symptomatic congenital CMV. We met with audiologists, newborn unit nurses, neonatologists and pediatricians to propose enhanced targeted testing of the following groups: babies who fail their hearing screen, symptomatic babies with even mild symptoms, and babies born to mothers with suspicion of infection. Initially, we asked nurses to prompt pediatricians to order PCR on urine. After we reviewed the efficacy of PCR on saliva, we implemented an electronic “CMV by PCR, Saliva” order in February of 2018. The order is available for activation by nurses for failed hearing, circumventing the need for a physician order. All positives are confirmed by urine PCR. Our goal is to present a model for enhanced targeted CMV testing.

  • Describe the challenges in developing a targeted CMV testing program
  • Learn how to adapt a testing program model for your own setting
  • Become familiar with the rate of CMV positives by saliva PCR

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Session Evaluation

Sunil Sood (POC-Point of Contact,Primary Presenter), ssood@northwell.edu;
Dr. Sood is a practicing Pediatric Infectious Disease physician and a Professor of Pediatrics. He is an investigator in several NIH-sponsored trials for treatment and follow-up of babies with congenital CMV. His current research focuses on improving recognition and treatment of congenital infections including CMV, Zika and toxoplasmosis. One of his primary goals to increase awareness of these infections among obstetricians and among women of child-bearing age.


Financial - No relevant financial relationship exists.

Nonfinancial - No relevant nonfinancial relationship exists.


Financial - No relevant financial relationship exists.