November 2000 MedBytes: Newborn Screening

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November's MedBytes takes a look at the useful newborn screening Web sites on the Internet. Look for more information on newborn screening in the December issue of Texas Medicine .

Texas Department of State Health Services  (TDSHS)
TDSHS has a newborn screening case management program located on its site at www.dshs.state.tx.us/newborn/default.shtm. You'll find a list of newborn screening tests performed in Texas, and statistics about how many newborns have been diagnosed with the tested diseases since 1991. The site also has commonly asked questions and answers about the tests.

Supplemental newborn screening
Most states routinely perform newborn screening designed to identify six common metabolic diseases. Supplemental newborn screening checks infants for 30 other disorders. All are rare, but if caught early, treatment can be more successful. Neo Gen Screening, which can be found at www.neogenscreening.com/, offers newborn testing for all 30-plus metabolic disorders via a kit used by a physician to collect a blood sample, which is then mailed back for analysis.

Audiology services
Texas Department of State Health Services has an audiology services section on its site located at www.dshs.state.tx.us/speech/default.shtm, which provides links to information about newborn hearing screening, programs, brochures and forms, and outside links. Click on "Newborn Hearing Screening" and then "Newborn Hearing Information" for Texas' new screening rules.

American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP)
The AAP recently issued a news release at www.aap.org/healthtopics/newbornscreening.cfm, entitled "Newborn Screening Report Addresses Inconsistencies and Controversies." The release gives a link to the July 2000 US National Screening Status Report, showing which states screen for what illnesses.

Genetics and Public Health in the 21st Century
This site, located at www.cdc.gov/genetics/publications/21stcentury_3.htm, gives a history on newborn screening, as well as information about quality assurance and specimen collection, and quality control and performance evaluation of testing.

Sickle cell disease screening
Sickle cell disease affects 3 of every 1,000 African-American newborns. Affected children are at increased risk for mortality and morbidity, especially in the first 3 years of life. Visit www.cdc.gov/genetics/publications/sickle.htm to find out more on this disease.

Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report
Another site giving sickle cell disease information is located at www.cdc.gov/mmwr/preview/mmwrhtml/mm4932a1.htm. The site gives results of a study conducted to assess the effectiveness of newborn screening programs for sickle cell disease and for receipt of and compliance with early medical interventions.

Texas Medical Association
Juggling the demands of your practice? TMA can help as it presents practice management information in a whole new way -- online. Interested physicians and staff now can receive a wide assortment of timely, hands-on practice management tips via a monthly e-mail newsletter, TMA Practice E-Tips . Newsletter topics feature TMA practice management expertise in coding, billing, and reimbursement; human resources; customer service; office policies and procedures; practice marketing; and more. These new practice management resources further TMA's mission to provide up-to-the-minute, premium information to Texas physicians. To subscribe to this electronic newsletter, visit the TMA Practice E-Tips Web page.

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