Newborn health screening returns to Silver State

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Updated: 8/11/2014 6:30 pm
RENO, Nev. ( & KRNV) -- The School of Community Health Sciences and the Nevada State Public Health Laboratory -- both entities in the University of Nevada, Reno's Division of Health Sciences -- have celebrated the move of the Nevada Newborn Screening Program in Nevada to Reno.

For the past 30 years, lab analysis of the required bloodwork for all Nevada newborns has been performed at the Oregon State Public Health Laboratory. In addition to the immediate health benefits afforded for the state, the availability of these services in Nevada is being hailed as a sign of economic diversification, providing high-level employment to Nevada's skilled workers.

The Nevada State Public Health Laboratory, in conjunction with the School of Community Health Sciences, will be responsible for testing and following an estimated 40,000 newborn babies' blood samples shortly after birth and again at two weeks of age, to screen for approximately 46 disorders each year -- more than 1.8 million tests annually. These tests can save lives and protect against long-term disabilities with early intervention.

"Every year, more disorders are identified that can be looked at for early screening. So we're hoping once we get our feet on the ground and have a few months under our belts, [we'll] be able to look at new testing for other disorders and really being able to stay on the cutting edge of newborn screening," says Dr. Trudy Larson, Director School of Community Healthcare.

For more information on newborn screening, click here.
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