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Hartford
– The Connecticut Department of Public Health (DPH), in conjunction with the University of Connecticut Health Center and School of Medicine, today announced Newborn Screening in Connecticut, a new web-based training for health care providers who care for infants and children.


The training is free and offers continuing education credits and nursing contact hours. Providers and health professionals can access the training by visiting www.genetrain.org.


Each year more than 40,000 babies born in Connecticut are screened for hearing loss and over forty genetic or metabolic disorders. The screenings are conducted within days of birth, before the baby goes home. About 2,100 of the babies screened, or 5%, will have a positive lab screen result that needs more testing.


“Public health officials in Connecticut have kept abreast of the rapid expansion of genetic metabolic and hearing newborn screenings,” stated DPH Commissioner J. Robert Galvin, M.D., M.P.H. “This new web-based training serves as a great resource for pediatricians, family physicians, physician assistants, and other health care providers who care for children.” Dr. Galvin added that, “DPH is committed to the health and well-being of the newborns in the state of Connecticut. Because of newborn screening tests, the department is able to provide parents and caregivers’ information that may be instrumental to the health of their newborn child. Newborn screening leads to early diagnosis and early treatment, which could help to prevent later complications.”


The“Newborn Screening in Connecticut” web-based training includes the state’s experts on newborn screening disorders from the University of Connecticut Health Center, the Yale School of Medicine and the Connecticut Department of Public Health. The training sessions include information on:

  • Latest newborn screening technologies
  • Categories of disorders for which babies are screened
  • Actions required when a baby has a positive screen
  • Communication between the medical home, DPH and clinical specialists
  • Appropriate medical care for children with a diagnosed condition
  • Background on Newborn Screening
Connecticut State Law mandates that all newborns delivered in Connecticut be screened for selected genetic and metabolic disorders. The goal of the Department of Public Health’s newborn screening program is to screen all babies born in Connecticut prior to discharge from birthing facilities or within the first 4 days of life. Screening is done for early identification of newborns at risk for these diseases so that medical treatment can be promptly initiated to avert complications and prevent irreversible problems and death.


Connecticut’s Newborn Screening program began in 1964 with two disorders. The screening panel continued to expand through the years to 8 disorders in 1997. On July 1, 2000 Connecticut began screening all babies for hearing loss at birth. In 2004, CT joined other states by implementing expanded laboratory screening using Tandem Mass Spectrometry (TMS) instrumentation. Connecticut now screens babies for more than 40 genetic or metabolic disorders.


For more information about the web-based training, please visit the DPH website at http://www.dph.state.ct.us/BCH/EHDI.htm or call (860) 509-8081.


The Connecticut Department of Public Health is the state’s leader in public health policy and advocacy with a mission to protect and promote the health and safety of the people of our state.
 

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