Newsroom > DHHS News Release

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

June 10, 2008

CONTACT
Marla Augustine, Communications and Legislative Services, (402) 471-4047 or marla.augustine@dhhs.ne.gov

 

Newborn Screening Expands

Lincoln—There is good news for Nebraska’s babies on the horizon. Starting July 1, every baby will benefit from screening for 28 metabolic, endocrine and hematologic conditions and cystic fibrosis.

Previously only eight screening tests were required and the other 20 tests for metabolic conditions were optional. But new state regulations implement what is considered best practice by public health officials and make the optional tests a requirement.

Two to three percent of babies did not receive the full panel each year, making them at risk of the harmful effects of many of the metabolic disorders. Untreated babies with these conditions can develop chronic illness, seizures, irreversible brain damage, or die.

Last year, 41 babies in Nebraska were detected with these conditions and entered into early treatment.

"Early detection means that more babies will not have mental retardation or serious illness," said Julie Miller, Program Manager for the Nebraska Newborn Screening Program. "These conditions have to be caught early, before they cause irreparable damage."

Testing babies for the full panel of conditions and disorders is supported by the American Academy of Pediatrics, the American College of Medical Genetics, the March of Dimes, and the Secretary’s Advisory Committee on Heritable Diseases and Genetic Conditions in Newborns and Children.

For more information go to www.dhhs.ne.gov.

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