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January 9, 2009

Newborn screening stories from the MN Dept. of Health

During the Introductory lecture, we talked about newborn screening programs as an example of an indication for performing a laboratory test: identifying disease in people who don't have any symptoms or signs other than what can be discovered by laboratory analysis.

The Minnesota Dept. of Health has recently included some individual patient stories on the website for the state's newborn screening program (I am a member of the advisory panel for the newborn screening program). These stories, told by parents or children who might have died or been very ill had it not been for early recognition of their disease, bring out very powerfully how important this program and others like it are to these families.