N.H. newborns getting all tests


MANCHESTER, N.H. (AP) – The number of tests required for newborn babies more than doubled this month, bringing the state into compliance with national guidelines.

The number of tests jumped from 13 to 32 effective July 1. State health officials, the March of Dimes and the Elliot Hospital called attention to the change at a news conference Tuesday.

“We are pleased to now offer parents the opportunity to screen for these additional conditions which, although rare, could be fatal if not discovered early,” said state public health Director Mary Ann Cooney. “Many of these conditions can cause serious health complications if not treated and this gives us a head start in preventing a host of major problems.”

Two years ago, the state raised the number of required tests from seven to 13, including one for cystic fibrosis. It also called for an advisory committee to recommend further additions, which led to the additions this month.

Infants are pricked on the heel within three days of birth to obtain a drop of blood for analysis. The newborn’s doctor is notified of results outside normal limits.

The tests include the 29 deemed most important by the American College of Medical Genetics.

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AP-ES-07-10-07 1721EDT