A Parent's Guide /
Getting the Test
About our Laboratory
Request a Newborn
Screening kit (Navjaat Chikitsa)
For more than
26 years, Central for Disease Control in the US (CDC's)
Environmental Health Laboratory has been the only comprehensive
source in the world for quality assurance and proficiency
testing involving the testing of newborns for preventable
diseases. If these diseases are not accurately diagnosed
and treated, they cause mental retardation, severe illness,
and premature death in newborns.
Within 48 hours of a child's
birth, a sample of blood is obtained from a "heel stick,"
and the blood is analyzed for treatable diseases, including
phenylketonuria, sickle cell disease, and hypothyroidism.
More than 98% of all children born in the United States
are tested for these disorders. The sample, called a "blood
spot," is tested at a laboratory. CDC's Environmental
Health Laboratory evaluates the performance of all participating
laboratories (73 domestic and one or more laboratories in
53 other nations), ensuring that they analyze the blood
spots correctly and providing technical assistance to resolve
any diagnostic problems.
Each year, at least 4 million
babies in the United States are tested for these diseases,
and severe disorders are detected in about 3,000 newborns.
In India this is far greater. 1.2 million babies die in
India in their first month. Two newborns die every minute
in the country (Times of India-24/04/2006).>>More