New disease tests for newborns have saved five children since 2018

Children bornChild.Photo: pixabay.com

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Five children have been treated and survived as a result of all newborns in Norway having been tested for severe immune disease since 2018, according to the National Hospital.

As of January 1, 2018, the offer of newborn screening was expanded to include severe immune deficiency in addition to over 20 other serious diseases for which treatment is available, according to Dagens Medicin.

Severe immunodeficiency has since been detected in five infants.

  • “Without this test, several of the children would probably not have survived, or they would have had a complicated course of illness with lasting damage to lungs and other organs,” says senior consultant Asbjørg Stray-Pedersen at the newborn screening department at Rikshospitalet.

When such diseases are diagnosed early, there is a high probability that children will survive.

  • “All the children were saved as a result of the screening,” says Stray-Pedersen.

Three of the babies have been successfully treated with bone marrow transplants. Bone marrow transplantation is considered to be performed on a fourth child, while the fifth child is receiving infection prevention treatments.

At the newborn screening at Rikshospitalet they now want to extend the tests further.

  • “We are currently screening for 25 diseases, but with our methodology and tests, we can now expand to test for 60 serious and treatable diseases,” says Stray-Pedersen.

© NTB Scanpix / #Norway Today

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