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Lack of uniform newborn screening can mean a missed diagnosis

Most babies in the United States undergo newborn testing shortly after birth. This screening is used to detect serious genetic disorders that can be treated, but only if detected early.

Unfortunately, due to a lack of uniformity in newborn testing from state to state, not all disorders are detected on time - if at all. This can result in brain damage, developmental disabilities and even death.

According to the American Academy of Pediatrics, 4.1 million newborns are tested for congenital disorders in the United States each year. Of these, 4,000 infants are diagnosed with a condition, and an estimated 1,000 more go undetected.

A federal committee that advises the U.S. Secretary of Health and Human Services is investigating these inconsistencies in newborn screening procedures. The committee's goal is to provide guidance to states about how to better test for deadly genetic disorders. Currently each state sets its own standards for newborn screening, including timing, benchmarks for detection and the types of disorders. 

"Every state should be looking at this very carefully, making adjustments appropriately to make sure they minimize bad outcomes," said Joseph Bocchini, chairman of the Discretionary Advisory Committee on Heritable Disorders in Newborns and Children.

"I pray this committee will take a stand for ... all babies in the United States who deserve better," said Jessica Wade, a mother from Michigan.

If your child developed a genetic disorder due to delayed or missed diagnosis after a newborn screening, you can hold responsible parties accountable. Contact an experienced medical malpractice attorney to discuss your options.

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Michael H. Bereston, Inc.
138 Main Street, Suite 200
P.O. Box 2990
Annapolis, MD 21401

Maryland: 410-793-4554
Toll Free: 866-517-4037
Baltimore/Annapolis: 410-269-5011
DC: 202-628-2226
Fax: 410-269-5022

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