In the August 2013 issue of “CAP TODAY,” Devin Oglesbee, Ph.D., was interviewed for the article, “Checklists 2013: newborn screening and MALDI-TOF.” The article discusses a major update to the College of American Pathologists’ clinical biochemical genetics checklist, which, after two years of work, was released on July 29. Dr. Oglesbee, laboratory director of the Biochemical Genetics Laboratory, was interviewed for the article as a member of the CAP Newborn Screening Working Group.
According to the article:
At Mayo Clinic, all infants receive a heel stick after the first 24 hours of life and their blood is spotted on a newborn screening, or “Guthrie,” card. One sheet from the card is sent by courier to the Minnesota Department of Health Laboratory in St. Paul. The remaining blood sample is subjected to technical analyses, including tandem mass spectrometry. “Our tandem mass spec experience has been quite extensive,” Dr. Oglesbee says. “We basically have the capacity to do high-throughput newborn screening for about 90,000 births a year.”
In developing the new CAP requirements, he says, the Newborn Screening Working Group considered each step in the process: type of screening paper, temperature of specimen storage, protocols and timelines for shipping and processing specimens—everything down to the diameter of blood spots obtained from infant heel sticks. The group’s goal: Reinforce the need for timely results so that infants can be followed appropriately, especially if they are at risk for a condition that could compromise their health.