Screening Babies For More Disorders

Friday, September 14th 2007, 6:38 am
By: News On 6

OKLAHOMA CITY (AP) -- State health officials hope a new policy to screen newborns will save at least 10 babies a year. The state Board of Health Thursday adopted a requirement that infants be routinely tested for 19 additional life-threatening genetic and metabolic disorders.

Presently, 10 tests are given after birth, including ones for cystic fibrosis and hearing loss. The new rule would increase that to 29 tests for a variety of disorders.

The screening involves a drop of blood to be taken from a baby's heel and then sent to a state Health Department laboratory in Oklahoma City.

The additional tests will be phased in during the remainder of this year and 2008.

About 52,000 babies are born in Oklahoma annually.