October heralds the start of autumn with a new crispness in the air and the leaves changing all around us. This October also marks a special change in the air for families in Michigan, Colorado, and Connecticut. Starting in October, newborns in these three states will be screened for Severe Combined Immune Deficiency! For families impacted by SCID in these states, the news is a long time coming. IDF volunteers Marisa Main in Michigan and Lisa Forrest in Connecticut have both advocated in their respective states to add SCID to the newborn screening panels for over a year to finally see this day when new parents will not have to wait for a serious and life threatening infection to learn that their child has a primary immunodeficiency disease.
With the addition of these three states, there are now eight states and the territory of Puerto Rico that routinely screen for SCID at birth. While this may not seem like a large number, it is phenomenal considering that just one year ago that number was less than half of that! Also, there are currently 13 more states along with the District of Columbia that have voted to add SCID to their state newborn screening panels. This campaign is making a difference! We must continue to be persistent with our efforts and put pressure on states that are not moving forward. We WILL get there!
To learn more about SCID newborn screening in Michigan, see the Michigan Department of Community Health press release
To learn more about SCID newborn screening in Colorado, see the Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment fact sheet
To learn more about SCID newborn screening in Connecticut, see the bill passed by the Connecticut legislature mandating newborn screening for SCID effective October 1, 2011
If you are interested in advocating for SCID newborn screening or would like to share the activities you are involved in with your own state, please comment below or fill out the CONTACT form at the top of the screen. To learn more about the SCID Newborn Screening Campaign, check out the website!
UPDATE: Colorado plans to begin screening for SCID in October 2011 but has been delayed from their October 1 targeted launch date.