Sickle cell disease: time for a targeted neonatal screening programme.
KeywordsSICKLE CELL DISEASE
MeSHAnemia, Sickle Cell
Referral and Consultation
MetadataShow full item record
CitationSickle cell disease: time for a targeted neonatal screening programme. 2015, 108 (2):43-5 Ir Med J
PublisherIrish Medical Journal
JournalIrish medical journal
AbstractIreland has seen a steady increase in paediatric sickle cell disease (SCD). In 2005, only 25% of children with SCD were referred to the haemoglobinopathy service in their first year. A non-funded screening programme was implemented. This review aimed to assess the impact screening has had. All children referred to the haemoglobinopathy service born in Ireland after 2005 were identified. Data was collected from the medical chart and laboratory system. Information was analysed using Microsoft Excel. 77 children with SCD were identified. The median age at antibiotic commencement in the screened group was 56 days compared with 447 days in the unscreened group, p = < 0.0003. 22 (28%) of infants were born in centre's that do not screen and 17 (81%) were over 6 months old at referral, compared with 14 (21%) in the screened group. 6 (27%) of those in the unscreened group presented in acute crisis compared with 2 (3%) in the screened population. The point prevalence of SCD in Ireland is 0.2% in children under 15 yr of African and Asian descent. We identified delays in referral and treatment, which reflect the lack of government funded support and policy. We suggest all maternity units commence screening for newborns at risk of SCD. It is a cost effective intervention with a number needed to screen of just 4 to prevent a potentially fatal crisis.
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