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December 1990

Newborn Screening for Sickle Cell Disease: When Is an Infant 'Lost to Follow-up'?

Author Affiliations

From the Department of Pediatrics, State University of New York-Children's Medical Center of Brooklyn.

Am J Dis Child. 1990;144(12):1343-1345. doi:10.1001/archpedi.1990.02150360069022

• Success of programs to screen newborns for sickle cell disease depends on timely follow-up. Education regarding fever and splenic palpation, and initiation of prophylactic penicillin therapy, will reduce morbidity and mortality and should occur prior to 4 months of age. However, contacting parents to permit implementation of care may be difficult, particularly in large urban populations; only nine (36%) of 25 infants recently identified as having sickle cell disease arrived at our institution for initial appointments. Medical providers must be aware of medical and legal obligations related to follow-up of newborns with sickle cell disease to prevent untoward events in "missed cases."

(AJDC. 1990;144:1343-1345)

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