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March of Dimes statement on newborn screening report

WHITE PLAINS, N.Y., SEPT. 22, 2004 -- The March of Dimes today issued the following statement on the report on newborn screening prepared for the Maternal and Child Health Bureau of the U.S. Health Resources and Services Administration by the American College of Medical Genetics (ACMG):

The March of Dimes supports comprehensive newborn screening for all babies in this country, regardless of their place of birth. Our policy is to support screening for specific conditions when there is a documented benefit to the child and there is a reliable test that enables early detection from newborn blood spots or other means. We support parents' rights to be fully informed about their baby's screening results, and we support expansion of health care provider education about newborn screening. March of Dimes state chapters and their partners work closely with governors, state legislators, and health departments to improve state newborn screening programs.

The March of Dimes strongly commends the ACMG report for advancing the field of newborn screening, defining a uniform panel for newborn screening, and providing a policy framework for the states. We support the recommendations in this report and we urge the Secretary of Health and Human Services to accept them as a national standard for newborn screening.

Based on the findings of this report, the March of Dimes will expand our policy on newborn screening as follows:

We will urge every state to screen every baby for at least the 30 disorders listed in the ACMG report. These 30 disorders meet our inclusion criteria, and include all of the nine metabolic tests plus hearing screening contained in our previous policy. We will revise our periodic evaluation of states' performance on newborn screening to include at least these 30.

We will urge states to provide test results for an additional 25 "reportable" conditions named in the ACMG report for which there are reliable t
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Contact: Michele Kling
mkling@marchofdimes.com
914-997-4613
March of Dimes Birth Defects Foundation
22-Sep-2004


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