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American College of Medical Genetics Applauds HHS Secretary's Decision to Expand Newborn Screening to Include Critical Congenital Heart Disease

Wed, 09/28/2011 - 10:33am
Bio-Medicine.Org

BETHESDA, Md., Sept. 28, 2011 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- The American College of Medical Genetics (ACMG) strongly supports the U.S. Health & Human Services (HHS) decision to make Critical Congenital Cyanotic Heart Disease (CCCHD) Screening a national newborn screening standard.

The Secretary's Advisory Committee on Heritable Disorders in Newborns and Children ("Secretary's Advisory Committee") led by R. Rodney Howell, MD, FACMG had made the recommendations to Secretary Kathleen Sebelius to add CCCHD to the Recommended Uniform Screening Panel for newborn screening after an extensive, external scientific evidence review process and peer recommendations.  

"Congenital heart disease is the cause of approximately 3% of all infant deaths in the first year of life.  The new screening for CCCHD will include measuring blood oxygen saturation and will help detect heart defects which can then be treated early, which can prevent brain damage and even death," said Dr. Howell, who has championed Newborn Screening as chair of the Secretary's Advisory Committee for the past 8 years.

The ACMG and ACMG Foundation have been strong supporters of universal newborn screening for many years and provide education, training and information to professionals and the public about newborn screening.  Visit www.acmg.net and www.acmgfoundation.org for more information.

About the American College of Medical Genetics and ACMG Foundation

Founded in 1991, the American College of Medical Genetics (www.acmg.net) advances the practice of medical genetics and genomics by providing education, resources and a voice for more than 1400 biochemical, clinical, cytogenetic, medical and molecular geneticists, genetic counselors and other healthcare professionals committed to the practice of medical genetics. ACMG's activities includ

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