NH DHHS - NH to Begin Testing Newborns for SCID, a Life-Threatening Immune Disorder

Concord, NH – On July 1, 2015, the New Hampshire Department of Health and

Human Services, Division of Public Health Services, Newborn Screening

Program will begin screening newborns for Severe Combined Immunodeficiency

Disorder (SCID), a group of genetic disorders that are some of the most

critical immune system problems and occur in an estimated 1 in 40,000

newborns. If SCID is not detected and treated early, most affected infants

will die within the first year of life.

SCID will be added to the panel of disorders that all newborns in the State

are screened for at birth. Screening for SCID will use the same newborn

screening specimens already collected to test for 33 other rare disorders.

The addition of SCID to the New Hampshire Screening Panel was recommended

by the New Hampshire Newborn Screening Advisory Board with representatives

from families, the medical community, and public health. This change is

consistent with national guidelines for newborn screening.

“Screening all babies for SCID is an important milestone in the State’s

efforts to help protect our youngest and most vulnerable citizens,” said

Marcella Bobinsky, Acting Director of the Division of Public Health

Services. “When detected soon after birth, this extremely serious condition

can be successfully treated. Adding this screening will help give New

Hampshire babies with SCID the opportunity to live a normal, healthy life.”

About 12,300 babies are screened each year in New Hampshire. Blood is drawn

by a simple heel stick between 24 and 48 hours after birth. The screening

provides an opportunity to detect medical conditions that if not addressed

early in life would cause serious problems like developmental delays, major

illness, or death.

For more information on the Newborn Screening Program, please visit


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