September 5, 2013 – Newborn Screening is a quick and simple blood test. A few drops of blood, taken from the heel of a newborn, and a simple hearing test are done within hours of a child being born. The test, required for every newborn, ensures that babies born with certain medical conditions get treatment immediately. Newborn Screening can detect about 80 disorders, including PKU, congenital hypothyroidism, cystic fibrosis, sickle cell disease and many more.
“Every parents wants to ensure that their newborn is perfectly healthy and the Newborn Screening program is helping families do just that,” said Gail Maher, Newborn Screening Nurse Coordinator at Rady Children’s Hospital-San Diego. “The test helps prevent disabilities for thousands of newborns and has helped save lives every year.”
Rady Children’s is one of seven designated Area Service Centers, which serve San Diego, Imperial, Orange and Riverside counties. Last year, more than 94,000 tests were performed in the Area Service Center.
The Newborn Screening program is now in its 50th year. Since 1980, the blood test has screened more than 17 million babies and expanded the screening panel from three genetic diseases to 80 different disorders. To celebrate this milestone, the Newborn Screening program at Rady Children’s will host an open house celebration on September 11 from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. The event will take place in the lobby of Rady Children’s at 7910 Frost Street, San Diego. Experts will be on hand to answer questions about the test and pass out important information.