DSHS Launches Life-Saving Test for Newborns

Media Advisory
Nov. 29, 2012

WHAT: The Texas Department of State Health Services is having a ribbon-cutting ceremony to mark the addition of severe combined immunodeficiency, SCID, to the list of diseases that all newborns in Texas are screened for at birth.

WHEN: Noon Friday, Nov. 30, 2012

WHERE: State Laboratory Building, 1100 West 49th St., Austin

PARKING MAP: www.dshs.state.tx.us/visitor/complex.shtm

DETAILS: Event will include remarks by state health officials and Jennifer Garcia, the mother of Cameron Garcia who died of SCID in March 2011. Garcia advocated for adding SCID to the list of disorders all Texas newborns are screened for at birth. The remarks will take place near the equipment that will be used to screen for the disorder.

BACKGROUND: The DSHS laboratory will begin screening for SCID Dec. 1 using the same newborn screening specimens that are collected to test for 28 other rare disorders. SCID is a group of genetic disorders that causes profound defects of the immune system, the body’s line of defense against all types of infections. SCID is one of the most critical immune system problems and occurs in an estimated one in 40,000 to one in 100,000 newborns. If it is not treated, most affected infants die within the first year of life.

Texas operates the largest newborn screening program in the nation, testing about 800,000 specimens per year. The blood to be tested is drawn by a simple heel stick within 48 hours of birth and again at one to two weeks of age. The screening provides an opportunity to detect medical conditions that, if not addressed early, would cause serious problems like developmental delays, major illness or death.


(News Media Contact: Carrie Williams, Director of Media Relations, 512-776-7119 or 512-965-7198.)

Last updated December 30, 2013