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Laboratory Information

TESTING METHODS

The Newborn Screening Laboratory is updating its testing equipment. Additionally, new computer software to run the new equipment and track specimens has been developed. This change is driven by the desire to improve our service to you and to the newborn. This redesign will accelerate notification and improve referrals. The new testing will use the DELFIA system.

Congenital Hypothyroidism - The testing will change from using a radioactive isotope reagent to one that uses a fluorescent reaction to measure T4 and TSH values.

Galactosemia - The new method will provide semiquantitative results for the galactose -1-posphate uridyltransferase (GALT) enzyme. The new method is semi-automated with instrumentation read fluorescence. The enzyme action will be reported in GALT units/gHb.

Phenylketonuria - The new test is a direct measurement of phenylalanine using a microchemisty technique. The test is evaluated using an instrument that measures the color development that occurs during the testing procedure and then determines the phenylalanine level. The Phenylalanine will be reported in mg/dl as is presently done.

All our positive screening results are considered presumptive. Diagnostic testing is necessary to confirm diagnosis of disease.

Results have always depended on proper collection of the specimen, timing of collection (physiological surges), transit time and exposure to heat and humidity.

The laboratory upgrade will use the Specimen Gate software, which allows more options to manage data and report results. FAX, e-mail, and hard copy U.S. mail, are all possible. You, the submitter, will be able to choose the reporting method.

EG & G Wallac, Incorporated, is providing both the laboratory equipment and software. The software is Windows based and more versatile than the previous system. We will be able to gather statistics that were impossible to gather in the old system. This new capability will allow us to advise you, the health care provider, with information on the number of unsatisfactory samples from you facility, the number of missed second screenings and other valuable information.