Maryland Newborns to be Screened for New Conditions


The Maryland Department of Health says that newborns will now be screened for four additional conditions as part of the state’s newborn screening program.

Currently newborns are screened for dozens of conditions, which officials say does not serve as a diagnosis but “plays a crucial role in identifying babies who need further testing.” It is conducted by obtaining a few drops of blood from the baby’s heel, which is then sent to the Maryland State Laboratory for testing.

The four new conditions to be added to the testing, bringing the total number of disorders examined to 61 are: Pompe disease – in which the body is not able to break down certain complex sugars, Fabry disease – when the body is not able to break down certain fate substance, MPS 1 – when the body is not able to break down certain large sugar molecules and SMA – which is a loss of specialized nerve cells called motor neurons in the spinal cord.

Maryland Department of Health Secretary Robert Neall released a statement saying “We’re thrilled to add these four conditions to the screening panel, further ensuring babies born in Maryland are as healthy as possible.”