Midwest Infusion Clinic

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Newborn Screening

Newborn Screening

Minnesota Newborns Now Screened for SCID

What is SCID? How does newborn screening for SCID work?

  • SCID (Severe Combined Immunodeficiency) is a life-threatening primary immunodeficiency characterized by low/absent T-cells.
  • Newborn screening for SCID uses the measurement of T-cell receptor excision circles (TRECs). Low levels of TRECs correlate with the presence of T-cell lymphopenia, and may indicate that the patient has SCID.

What if my patient has a positive newborn screen for SCID?

  • A positive screen is not diagnostic. Confirmary testing is required. False positive screens are seen in NICU babies.
  • Your office will be contacted by a genetic counselor from the Minnesota Department of Health (MDH) newborn screening program.
  • As soon as possible, contact a Clinical Immunologist for further instructions and care coordination.
  • Contact the patient’s family to provide guidance and to arrange follow-up.

What advice should I give parents of a child with a positive newborn screen while we pursue further testing?

  • Wash your hands before and after caring for your infant; ask others to do the same.
  • Avoid sick contacts.
  • Limit the number of visitors to your home.
  • Avoid unnecessary exposure to large groups of people (ex. daycare, church, shopping malls).
  • Avoid breastfeeding until confirmatory tests have been completed; use distilled or boiled water for mixing formula.
  • More blood needs to be drawn as soon as possible.

Who can I contact for more information about newborn screening for SCID?