Province-Wide Stool Color Card Screening for Biliary Atresia in Lower-Saxony: Experiences with Passive Distribution Strategies and Results.
BackgroundStool color card (SCC) screenings for biliary atresia (BA) have shown to improve Kasai timing and outcome significantly. Both obligatory and non-obligatory screenings with passive distribution strategies have proven to be effective. Therefore, we have initiated a voluntary SCC program and aim to describe our experience.
MethodsSince 2017 we supply all maternity wards in Lower-Saxony with SCC. Attending pediatricians and parents of BA infants were contacted via questionnaires and asked for their evaluation of the SCC screening.
Results85.2% of attending pediatricians support the SCC screening, but only 78.1% considered the initiative useful. In their clinical routine, only 67% of visiting parents report to have received an SCC at the maternity hospital. In the group of parents of BA infants, only 54% (7/13) had received an SCC. Out of those seven parents, only one had referred their child to a children's hospital based on pathological SCC results. The lack of SCC education in the maternity hospitals was made responsible by parents. Within three years, only one infant with BA was identified through the SCC.
ConclusionsOur voluntary SCC screening shows serious limitations with inacceptable distribution of SCCs and low acceptance of attending pediatricians. SCC programs in decentralized health care systems without educational campaigns, standardized diagnostic and treatment algorithms and the definition of reference centers are additional burdens for local health care providers without the promised benefit.