The UK’s independent expert screening committee has launched a consultation which will consider whether screening for Severe Combined Immune Deficiency (SCID) in babies should be tried within the NHS.
SCID, is a rare inherited disorder which means that babies find it harder to fight off infections. There are around 15 to 25 babies born with the condition every year for whom an infection that would not normally be serious for most babies, can be life-threatening. Currently checks for nine rare but serious health conditions by taking a blood sample from a baby’s heel, the consultation findings will provide valuable information about whether SCID should be added to the existing NHS newborn blood spot screening programme. Screening for SCID would use blood from the current heel prick test to check if a baby has a low white blood cell count, which may make them more likely to have infections.