Alabama has officially begun screening newborns for Severe Combined Immunodeficiency (SCID), making it the 48th state to screen for this life-threatening disorder, one of the most severe forms of primary immunodeficiency diseases (PI).
Infants affected by SCID lack T cells, the white blood cells that help resist infections due to a wide array of viruses, bacteria and fungi. Babies with SCID appear healthy at birth, but without early treatment, most often by hematopoietic stem cell transplant from a healthy donor, these infants cannot survive.
The Immune Deficiency Foundation (IDF), the national patient organization for people with PI, commends Alabama for making this crucial decision showing that every life is worth saving. “The State of Alabama will help save lives because of this screening,” says John G. Boyle, IDF President & CEO. “We applaud their decision and affirm our commitment to ensuring all families affected by SCID—no matter where they live—have the screening, resources, and support they need.”
For more than 10 years, IDF, along with dedicated volunteers and partner organizations, have worked to implement universal screening for SCID in the U.S., making sure all babies have a chance at a healthy, happy life. There are now only two remaining states, Indiana and Louisiana, which have yet to implement statewide screening. IDF is actively monitoring these states and providing support as needed.
Alabama, as the 48th state to begin SCID screening, raises the total number of births screened in the U.S. to 95%. We will continue to work tirelessly for universal newborn screening for SCID.