Oklahoma expands newborn screening to include Severe Combined Immunodeficiency 

Posted on: 2/4/15


The Oklahoma State Department of Health (OSDH) Newborn Screening Program announced it has expanded its panel of disorders for newborn screening to include Severe Combined Immunodeficiency (SCID). SCID is an inherited condition in which the body is unable to fight off serious and life threatening infections. It is estimated to affect one in 50,000 to 60,000 live births. 

Newborn screening identifies infants at risk for rare, life-threatening disorders who often appear healthy at birth. Every year, about 53,000 infants born in Oklahoma are screened through the Newborn Screening Program within days after birth. Oklahoma’s Newborn Screening Program now screens for 56 disorders through blood, hearing, and pulse oximetry screening. 

“Newborn screening ensures all babies are screened for certain serious conditions shortly after birth. For babies who test positive for one of these conditions, rapid identification and treatment can make the difference between health and disability or life and death. The program allows the start of treatment before some of the harmful effects happen,” said OSDH Director of Screening and Special Services Sharon Vaz.  

The March of Dimes Oklahoma Chapter has advocated for the addition of SCID screening since the condition was added to the Recommended Uniform Screening Panel in 2010. “The importance of early detection for these conditions cannot be overstated,” said Belinda Rogers, director of program services for the March of Dimes, “and we commend the department of health for adding SCID to the standard newborn screening panel.” 

For more information about the Oklahoma Newborn Screening Program and disorders that are screened, visit http://nsp.health.ok.gov or call the OSDH Newborn Screening Program at (405) 271-6617.  

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