Thursday, March 1, 2012

State Laboratory adds “bubble boy” disease to its panel of newborn screenings

In February, the Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment Laboratory added Severe Combined Immunodeficiency (SCID), often referred to as bubble boy disease, to its core panel of newborn screening tests. The screening tests detect 35 debilitating and potentially life-threatening birth disorders in newborns.

SCID prevalence in Colorado is estimated at 1/66,000 births. The Colorado Board of Health voted in March 2011 to add SCID to Colorado’s newborn screening panel. Since testing began Feb.1, approximately 2,500 SCID tests have been performed on newborns, and no positive test results have yet been reported. The state lab’s fee for the screening will rise from $85 to $92 to fund the additional testing. Seven states now are testing for SCID.

The average hospital bill for a baby who goes undiagnosed with SCID is estimated to be $2.2 million. By contrast, the cost to treat an early diagnosed case is estimated at $250,000 for a bone marrow transplant.

For more information about SCID, go to www.SCID.net. For information on Colorado’s

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