Screening for additional disorders introduced for newborns in England

Medical Government/ NHS related news

Public Health England has introduced new screening measures to protect newborn babies from a number of additional rare conditions.

The NHS Newborn Blood Spot Screening Programme has been expanded to screen for homocystinuria, maple syrup urine disease, glutaric aciduria type 1 and isovaleric acidaemia as of the beginning of this week (January 5th 2015).

“All newborn babies in England are to be offered screening for four additional rare genetic disorders, as of the beginning of this week.“

All four of these diseases are uncommon, but potentially harmful, posing the risk of premature disability and death if left unchecked. Testing for the conditions will increase the likelihood of them being caught and treated early.

The test will be performed using the same blood test that babies currently have at five to eight days old.

Public health minister Jane Ellison said: "This is really welcome news. Expanding the screening has the potential to make a huge difference to the lives of babies born with rare genetic disorders."

Newborns in the UK are currently also screened for phenylketonuria, congenital hypothyroidism, sickle cell disease, cystic fibrosis and medium-chain acyl-CoA dehydrogenase deficiency.

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