The goal of the Newborn Screening Program is to prevent catastrophic health consequences and the emotional and financial burden for families caused by genetic and congenital disorders. The program has an essential public health function that screens newborns for disorders including inherited metabolic disorders (i.e. phenylketonuria (PKU), galactosemia, and primary congenital hypothyroidism), and blood disorders such as sickle cell, and various other hemoglobin disorders. Since August 2005, the program expanded screening to include over 40 additional newborn disorders.
- Metabolic disorders are conditions relating to the metabolism or the chemical changes occurring in the various tissues of the body, which can cause developmental delay.
- Hemoglobin disorders are conditions that affect the production of red blood cells. For example, sickle cell anemia is one of the most common hemoglobin disorders in African American newborns.
- Each year, over half a million newborns are screened in California. One in every 1200 babies screened is positive with a disorder.
- Since 1980, over 12 million newborns have been tested in California and more than 8000 children were diagnosed with a disorder through the Newborn Screening Program.
- With the Newborn Screening Program expansion, it is anticipated that 115-150 disorders will be detected in newborns every year.
Partners with two Area Service Centers at Harbor UCLA and UCLA Medical Center to monitor births that occur outside of hospitals for missed screenings, follow-up referrals and to ensure that infants with positive screen are referred for appropriate services.
Provides outreach and education to the community on genetic disorders and resources available to families affected by these conditions.
For more information please contact Luz B. Arboleda-Babcock RN, BSN, PHN at (213) 639-6457.
Resources & Links:
California Newborn Screening Program
Sickle Cell Disease in California Factsheet - for general public
Sickle Cell Disease in California Factsheet - for health care providers
California Early Childhood Comprehensive Systems
National Center on Birth Defects and Developmental Disabilities
Save Babies Through Screening Foundation video - One Foot At a Time
Center of Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) - Newborn Screening Can Help Prevent Problems