Newborn babies from the Maritime provinces now benefit from earlier detection and treatment of five new conditions.
These conditions lead to the accumulation of toxic substances and the deficiency of some substances necessary for healthy growth and metabolism.
Last month, argininosuccinic acidemia (ASA), citrullinemia type I, propionic acidemia (PA) and methylmalonic acidemia, (cobalamin A and B defects as well as mutase deficiency) were added to the screening panel.
All babies born in the Maritimes have access to newborn screening and are screened for a number of serious and rare conditions that are treatable including inborn errors of metabolism, endocrine disorders, severe combined immunodeficiency (SCID), cystic fibrosis (CF) and blood disorders.
“Newborn screening involves a simple blood test which is used to identify many life-threatening genetic illnesses, many times before any symptoms have started,” says Rachel Mador-House, clinic co-ordinator/genetic counsellor at the Maritime Newborn Screening Program in a press release. “Our goal is to help every baby born in the Maritimes start their lives in the healthiest way possible, with care and support every step of the way.”
For more information about newborn screening, including information sheets for all disorders included in the screening panel, visit www.maritimenewbornscreening.ca.
Without newborn screening, a baby born with one of these conditions may experience a metabolic crisis, which could lead to permanent neurological and organ damage.
Early identification and treatment may prevent these metabolic crises and lead to longer, healthier lives, improved quality of life and reductions in the number of emergency room visits and hospitalizations.