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House of Representatives
Session of 2019 - 2020 Regular Session


Posted: June 23, 2020 12:13 PM
From: Representative Dan Moul and Rep. Danielle Friel Otten
To: All House members
Subject: Hirschsprung's Disease Awareness Month in Pennsylvania
Designating September as Hirschsprung's Disease Awareness Month in Pennsylvania
to coincide with a global initiative in Australia.
Hirschsprung's Disease ("HD") is a condition at birth where there is an absence of certain intestinal nerve cells, which inhibits or prevents the elimination of waste from the newborn body.
HD exists in 1 in 5,000 births.  It is 4 times more common in boys than girls.
Symptoms may be common so HD is difficult to recognize. 
They are:
◊ Delayed passage of newborn meconium.
◊ Ongoing chronic constipation
◊ Excessive vomiting
◊ Unexplained fever
◊ Hard mass, bloated belly
Other HD facts:
◊ Non-treatment can lead to malnourishment, perforated bowel, or even unexpected death from sepsis.
◊ HD develops during the 5th to 12th weeks of gestation when nerve cells are migrating from the brain, down the spinal column, to form the intestines.
◊ There are degrees of severity, based on where that migration of nerve cells stops during fetal development. 
◊ Biopsy (tissue testing) of internal bowel is necessary for diagnosis.
◊ Surgical correction is necessary.  “Pull-thru" surgery removes the nonfunctioning portion.  In the most severe forms, intestinal transplant is necessary.
◊ If HD is suspected, seek immediate medical attention.
The hope of Hirschsprung’s Awareness is to reach those caregivers of that 1 in 5000 affected child that such a disease does exist so that early diagnosis and proper treatment ensue.

Introduced as HR951