LITTLE ROCK, Ark. (AP) — The Arkansas Department of Health plans this week to start sending hospital administrators reports showing how quickly blood samples collected from newborns are submitted to the department laboratory in Little Rock for testing.
Department spokesman Kerry Krell told the Arkansas Democrat-Gazette (http://bit.ly/JoQnGZ ) that the department decided to start sending the reports after a report last month that thousands of samples a year arrive at laboratories five or more days after being collected. The American College of Medical Genetics recommends a delivery time of three days.
The Arkansas Health Department's goal is to get samples to the lab within 48 hours.
The department tests the blood samples for 28 disorders and officials say early diagnosis often allows treatment to start in time to save a baby's life or prevent permanent damage.