September is National Newborn Screening Awareness month and September 18 marks the 50th anniversary of the national newborn screening program. The Association of Public Health Laboratories (APHL) is holding a special event at the U.S. Capitol on September 18 and in Iowa, Governor Branstad will join the Iowa Department of Public Health (IDPH) and State Hygienic Laboratory (SHL) to sign a proclamation marking the anniversary in Iowa.
“More than one million babies have been screened as part of Iowa’s Neonatal Metabolic Screening program,” said IDPH Director, Dr. Mariannette Miller-Meeks. “These babies appear and behave normally. This simple screening process can help identify inherited disorders, for which rapid detection can mean the difference between health and disability, or even life and death.” Every year, more than 60 Iowa babies’ lives are saved or improved because of newborn screening.
Each year, nearly 40,000 Iowa babies are screened shortly after birth through the IDPH Newborn Screening program, with follow-up from staff at University of Iowa Children's Hospital. With one small blood sample, more than 50 diseases can be detected through a test performed by SHL.
For more information about Iowa’s Neonatal Metabolic Screening program, visit www.idph.state.ia.us/genetics/neonatal_parent_page.asp.