FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE Connecticut Department of Public Health
September 15, 2008 Contact: William Gerrish
The Department of Public Health (DPH) is celebrating September as National Newborn Screening Awareness Month by urging residents to get informed about newborn screening, which can prevent serious complications of undiagnosed disorders in infants.
“A small blood sample from your newborn baby can provide for early identification of selected metabolic or genetic disorders, so that, if needed, follow-up and medical treatment can be promptly started to avoid serious complications, prevent irreversible problems and even death,” stated DPH Commissioner J. Robert Galvin, M.D., M.P.H., M.B.A.
Connecticut State Law mandates that all babies born in
“Most people still think newborn screening is just the traditional PKU test, but the present day program includes screening for over forty different conditions and is vital to protecting infant health,” said Dr. Galvin. Today, infant-screening tests include metabolic, endocrine and hemoglobin conditions including PKU. Infants with abnormal screening results are referred to designated State Regional Treatment Centers for comprehensive confirmation testing, counseling, education, treatment, and follow-up services.
To help ensure your baby has newborn screening results reported promptly:
ü Choose a primary care provider or pediatrician before birth; make sure to give the hospital the doctor’s contact information. This information will save time if your baby needs medical attention from a specialist.
ü Make sure your phone number and address are up to date and provide the hospital with a name and phone number of an alternate contact person.
ü Ask if the newborn screening was performed on your baby before you leave the hospital.
ü Tell your nurse if your baby will have a different last name after your baby goes home.
ü Ask for the results of your child’s newborn screening during your well baby checkup. Asking this question will serve as a reminder to the doctor to review the results, and will help you to be proactive in your child’s health.
For more information about newborn screening and
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. To contact the Department, please visit its website at www.ct.gov/dph or call (860) 509-7270.