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Seattle Times news librarian Gene Balk crunches the numbers

Topic: hospitals

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November 19, 2013 at 4:35 PM

Some local hospitals not quickly screening all newborns

Swedish/First Hill in Seattle (Photo: Joe Mabel/Wikimedia Commons)

Swedish Medical Center on First Hill (Photo: Joe Mabel/Wikimedia Commons)

 

Unless you’re a parent or medical professional, you may not know that all newborn babies in Washington and across the country have their blood screened to detect rare diseases.

The timing of blood screenings is critically important because newborns afflicted with certain rare disorders can fall sick within just a few days of leaving the hospital.  Early detection through these screenings saves 12,000 babies each year in the United States from death or irreversible harm.

Unfortunately, nine hospitals in King, Snohomish and Pierce counties did not screen all newborn babies for dangerous genetic disorders within an acceptable window of time, according to a new investigation by the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel.

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