Screening for Sickle Cell and Thalassemia
Hemoglobinopathy screening programs, including newborn screening (NBS), identify which individuals have sickle cell disease (SCD) or thalassemia. These conditions can impact an individual's long-term health or survival. It is important to correctly screen for SCD and thalassemia to help patients and their families get connected to health care services, treatment and support groups to help manage the condition and improve long term health.
Hemoglobinopathy screening program methods differ by location and available resources. It is important that all programs have access to information about the conditions they screen for, the various technologies available to perform the screening, the ways screening results are reported to healthcare providers and families, and the impact that these conditions have on the health of the individuals in which they are identified.
APHL Hemoglobinopathies Project Strengthens Lab Capacity to Respond to Blood Disorders
In 2013, APHL began working with the
CDC Division of Blood Disorders (DBD) to help prevent and reduce complications of hemoglobinopathies by providing public health technical assistance with screening activities, including needs assessments for laboratories and education of patients, caregivers and healthcare workers.
To inform and drive the project, APHL convened a Hemoglobinopathy Workgroup, which consists of Hemoglobinopathy screening experts from NBS programs throughout the United States, as well as partners from CDC. APHL and the Hemoglobinopathy Workgroup are building and enhancing the capacity of NBS programs to better screen and report hemoglobinopathies, identifying training needs around screening and diagnosis of hemoglobinopathies, and providing training opportunities to meet these needs among NBS staff and leadership. The Workgroup has also developed and administered a survey to assess the scope of alpha thalassemia NBS in the US.
Below you will find a number of resources developed by the Hemoglobinopathy Workgroup, as well as recordings of sessions from conferences.
Hemoglobinopathy Best Practices
Hemoglobinopathies: Current Practices for Screening, Confirmation, and Follow-up
This best practices document describes laboratory technology in state health laboratories, universities and community centers for screening, diagnosis, and follow-up for hemoglobinopathies.
This document is complemented by the following training webinars:
Alpha Thalassemia Webinars
Alpha Thalassemia: Clinical Aspects
Alpha Thalassemia: Newborn Screening in the US
Beta Thalassemia Webinar
Sessions from the APHL Newborn Screening and Genetic Testing Symposium
Detecting and Reporting Alpha Thalassemia In Newborns (2017 Oral Session)
Building and Enhancing Laboratory Capacity for Screening and Diagnosis of Hemoglobinopathies (2016 Oral Session)
For more information about these hemoglobinopathy resources, contact Careema Yusuf, manager, NewSTEPs, Newborn Screening & Genetics (240.485.2761)