With September being Newborn Screening Awareness Month, a nonprofit group is encouraging greater public awareness of the importance of testing infants for certain diseases at birth and is planning a free online educational seminar on Oct. 4.
The webinar, “Newborn Screening: How to Add Your Condition to the Recommended Uniform Screening Panel (RUSP),” is being presented by the Newborn Screening Working Group. The webinar at 2 p.m. EDT, will last approximately 90 minutes and will highlight previous case studies of test additions. To sign up for the webinar, visit http://action.everylifefoundation.org/p/salsa/event/common/public/?event_KEY=9867.
The Newborn Screening Working Group, operating under the direction of Everylife Foundation for Rare Diseases’ Community Congress, strives to raise public awareness of nationwide neonatal screening policies at the state and federal level.
Newborn screening has advanced greatly over the past 50 years and continues to evolve. Essentially, the program identifies neonatal conditions that may not be evident at birth through a simple blood test.
According to the National Institutes of Health, disorders detectable through the test include PKU (phenylketonuria): a condition in which the body fails to deal with a protein building block called phenylalanine and which can cause cognitive and developmental disabilities if not detected early.
Additionally, screening looks for cystic fibrosis, sickle cell disease, heart conditions and hearing loss.