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New Hampshire to Begin Testing Newborns for SCID, a Life-Threatening Immune Disorder
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Public Information Office
(603) 271-9290

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Publish Date:
June 30, 2015

Concord, NH – On July 1, 2015, the New Hampshire Department of Health and Human Services, Division of Public Health Services, Newborn Screening Program will begin screening newborns for Severe Combined Immunodeficiency Disorder (SCID), a group of genetic disorders that are some of the most critical immune system problems and occur in an estimated 1 in 40,000 newborns. If SCID is not detected and treated early, most affected infants will die within the first year of life.

SCID will be added to the panel of disorders that all newborns in the State are screened for at birth. Screening for SCID will use the same newborn screening specimens already collected to test for 33 other rare disorders.  The addition of SCID to the New Hampshire Screening Panel was recommended by the New Hampshire Newborn Screening Advisory Board with representatives from families, the medical community, and public health. This change is consistent with national guidelines for newborn screening.

“Screening all babies for SCID is an important milestone in the State’s efforts to help protect our youngest and most vulnerable citizens,” said Marcella Bobinsky, Acting Director of the Division of Public Health Services. “When detected soon after birth, this extremely serious condition can be successfully treated. Adding this screening will help give New Hampshire babies with SCID the opportunity to live a normal, healthy life.” 

About 12,300 babies are screened each year in New Hampshire. Blood is drawn by a simple heel stick between 24 and 48 hours after birth. The screening provides an opportunity to detect medical conditions that if not addressed early in life would cause serious problems like developmental delays, major illness, or death.

For more information on the Newborn Screening Program, please visit http://www.dhhs.nh.gov/dphs/bchs/mch/newborn.htm.

 
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New Hampshire Department of Health and Human Services
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