Department of Health Announces Addition to Newborn Screening Panel

Nov 29 • 393 Views • View Comments

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Contact: DOH Communications
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~Total number of disorders tested in Florida reaches 36~

JACKSONVILLE – State Surgeon General and Secretary of Health Dr. John Armstrong today announced the newest addition to the newborn screening panel. The Severe Combined Immunodeficiency (SCID) screening, which detects a genetic disorder that affects the immune system, brings the total number of disorders tested in Florida to 36. This addition is the first expansion to the newborn screening panel since 2007.

“From a simple drop of blood from a baby’s heel, the Florida Department of Health’s Bureau of Public Health Laboratories is able to test a baby for more than 30 diseases and conditions as part of Florida’s Newborn Screening Program,” said Dr. Armstrong. “I am pleased to work alongside our partners, including the Florida Genetics and Newborn Screening Advisory Council and SCID Angels for Life, to detect this type of defect early so that Florida’s babies grow up healthier.”

SCID is the result of genetic defects that impair normal T-cell development. While babies affected by SCID typically appear normal at birth, they can develop multiple life-threatening infections within just a few months of life.

SCID was added to the newborn screening panel, which began Oct. 1, based on a recommendation from Florida Genetics and Newborn Screening Advisory Council. The Department of Health Newborn Screening Follow-up Program has collaborated with the University of Florida, University of South Florida and the University of Miami to provide follow-up diagnostic evaluation services for babies identified with abnormal SCID screening results.

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