Iowa Launches Pilot to Screen Newborns for Severe Combined Immune Deficiency

Oct 17, 2012, 10:29 ET from Immune Deficiency Foundation

TOWSON, Md., Oct. 17, 2012 /PRNewswire/ -- The Immune Deficiency Foundation (IDF), the national patient organization for persons with primary immunodeficiency diseases, applauds the decision of the Iowa Department of Public Health to expand its newborn screening program to include screening for Severe Combined Immune Deficiency Disease (SCID), known as bubble boy disease. The Department of Public Health made the announcement on their website Wednesday, October 10, 2012. 

SCID has been characterized in the medical community as a pediatric emergency. A primary immunodeficiency disease where affected infants lack T lymphocytes, or white blood cells, that help fight infections from a wide array of viruses, bacteria and fungi, SCID leaves infants susceptible to serious, life-threatening infections. Babies with SCID appear healthy at birth, but without early treatment, most often by bone marrow transplant, these infants cannot survive. Infants born with SCID who receive treatment within months of birth have a greater possibility of living happy, productive lives as the sooner a child is diagnosed, the sooner treatment can begin and the more likely it is to be effective. Some babies develop fatal infections before their condition can be recognized, thus the importance of newborn screening. 

Initially, Iowa launched SCID screening as a pilot to ensure that the screening process meets necessary standards; that all babies are receiving the screen, and any baby receiving an abnormal result will receive appropriate interventions. The decision by the Department of Health to screen all babies follows the Federal recommendation of Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius in May 2010 that SCID be included among the disorders for which all states screen newborns.

IDF continues to work tirelessly for SCID newborn screening to become a reality in all 50 states.  "Iowa has made a statement with their decision to screen newborns in their state for SCID that every life is worth saving," said Marcia Boyle, IDF President & Founder, "We are pleased to have worked with Iowa in providing resources developed by IDF to help parents understand the diagnosis of SCID and its treatment."

About the Immune Deficiency Foundation
The Immune Deficiency Foundation is the national patient organization dedicated to improving the diagnosis, treatment and quality of life of persons with primary immunodeficiency diseases through advocacy, education, and research. For more information, contact IDF at 800-296-4433 or

SOURCE Immune Deficiency Foundation