The newborn screening program at the Minnesota Department of Health(MDH) tests newborns to see if they are at risk for more than 53 hidden, rare disorders. These disorders, if left untreated, can result in illness, physical disabilities, learning and developmental disabilities, hearing loss, or even death. Yet early treatment and diagnosis, medications and/or changes in diet can prevent most of these health problems from occurring.
Since 1965, Minnesota has been a national leader in its newborn screening program.
At Children’s, we have seen firsthand how the newborn screening program saves lives. Our ability to detect rare and life threatening genetic conditions early allows us to treat children proactively, in many cases saving their lives and allowing them to grow into healthy kids and adults. We strongly encourage parents to ask their pediatrician and healthcare provider about the program and get their newborn screened. It’s one the first life-saving, life-preserving actions a parent can take.
Recent changes to the program and legislative proposals that seek to weaken the program are concerning to Children’s. We strongly support efforts to allow the Minnesota Department of Health to preserve the newborn screening information and strongly oppose any legislative efforts to dismantle the program.
For more information about the newborn screening program, visit the Minnesota Department of Health.