A Big Year for Newborn Screening
As 2011 comes to a close, we have been reflecting about how busy the year has been in the world of newborn screening. In May, the Center for Disease Control named newborn screening to its list of the ten greatest public health achievements in the past ten years. The CDC applauded newborn screening for preventing thousands of unnecessary deaths every year through early identification and treatment of serious conditions. The report itself highlights recent advances that have been made in newborn screening technology, as well as the impact of the recommended uniform screening panel.
In September, the Department of Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius approved the adoption of critical congenital heart disease (CCHD) into the recommended uniform screening panel. This approval came after careful review by the Secretary’s Advisory Committee on Heritable Disorders in Newborns and Children (SACHDNC). The SACHDNC declared that CCHD poses a serious threat to the nation’s newborn population, and should be screened for in every baby. A few states and hospitals have already started screening for CCHD and we look forward to the news of many more joining.
September also saw the release of Baby’s First Test, which seeks to provide information about newborn screening to new and expecting parents. We would like to extend a warm thank you to all of the community members, parent advocates and everyone else who shared our desire to spread the word about newborn screening. Without your support, this project would not have been possible.
We look forward to future collaborations, as well as future opportunities to learn from each other. We know 2012 will be another busy year filled with opportunities to raise awareness about newborn screening. Season’s greetings, and a happy new year from all of us at Baby’s First Test!