Citizen Staff Writer
Arizona newborns are screened for 28 disorders, plus hearing loss.
Most commonly, a nurse takes a few drops of blood from a baby’s heel on the first day of life.
The hospital sends the sample to the newborn screening lab. If the results are unusual, the baby’s doctor is notified immediately and the doctor may request additional testing.
The Arizona screening panel includes:
• 6 amino acid disorders
• 5 fatty acid oxidation disorders
• 9 organic acid disorders
• Biotinidase deficiency
• Classic galactosemia
• Congenital hypothyroidism
• Congenital adrenal hyperplasia
• 3 hemoglobin diseases
• Cystic fibrosis
• Hearing loss
The screening panel follows the recommendations of the American Academy of Pediatrics, said Laura Oxley of the Arizona Department of Health Services, which oversees screening. According to Hunter’s Hope foundation, Arizona is the bottom three for for the number of disorders tested. The highest, Minnesota, tests for 54 disorders
Hospitals bill insurance providers for the cost of testing. For other tests, parents must make arrangements privately.
Between January and October 2008, 92 Arizona babies were identified to have 14 different serious, treatable medical conditions, according to DHS. The most common disorder was primary congenital hypothyroidism, with 43 cases found in that time period.
All 92 babies were helped to get the treatments needed, according to DHS.