American Academy of Pediatrics Pushes for Uniformity in Infant Testing Standards

Concerned by inconsistencies in state infant testing, the American Academy of Pediatrics is calling for the federal government to adopt uniform testing standards for infants. Currently tests are available for about 30 inherited diseases, but few states require newborn screening for all of them. All states do have mandatory newborn screening for phenylketonuria and hypothyroidism. In addition, most test for galactosemia and 41 test for sickle cell disease. The March of Dimes believes that in addition to these four tests, it should be mandatory to screen for congenital adrenal hyperplasia. Testing for a single disease costs $1 or less and involves taking a drop of blood from a newborn's heel. Through a technology called tandem mass spectrometry, the same blood drop can be tested for more than 20 diseases for about $25. For more information visit www.aap.org.

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