Newborn screening refers to testing newborn babies for medical conditions before they leave the hospital. These conditions typically present no symptoms in newborns, but can cause severe illness, mental retardation, developmental delays, and in some cases death, if not found and treated early in life. All states and many foreign countries screen newborns for a variety of conditions. In Colorado, babies are screened for the following 29 conditions:
Amino Acid Disorders (AA)
Fatty Acid Oxidation Disorders (FAO)
Organic Acid Disorders (OA)
Babies with the above conditions appear normal at birth. Early diagnosis and treatment can result in normal growth and development and prevent or reduce the severity of serious medical problems associated with these conditions.
Nearly 70,000 Colorado newborns are screened each year. Approximately 2,200 babies each year have a positive screening test in Colorado. A positive screen does not necessarily mean that a child has one of these conditions, but it means that the child may be at risk for the condition and needs further testing.
Colorado will expand its newborn screening panel to include more than 30 disorders in July 2006 using new technology called tandem mass spectrometry.
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