PA 09-20—HB 6263

Public Health Committee

AN ACT REQUIRING THE ADMINISTRATION OF A SCREENING TEST FOR CYSTIC FIBROSIS TO NEWBORN INFANTS

SUMMARY: This act requires all health care institutions caring for newborn infants to test them for cystic fibrosis, unless, as allowed by law, their parents object on religious grounds. It requires the testing to be done as soon as is medically appropriate.

Under the act, the cystic fibrosis test is in addition to, but separate from, the Public Health Department's newborn screening program for genetic diseases and metabolic disorders. That program, in addition to the initial screening test, directs parents of identified infants to appropriate counseling and treatment.

EFFECTIVE DATE: October 1, 2009

BACKGROUND

Cystic Fibrosis

Cystic fibrosis is an inherited disorder that occurs in one in every 3,500 live births. It causes the body to produce abnormally thick secretions that clog the lungs, causing infections; obstruct the pancreas, preventing enzymes from breaking down food in the intestines; and block the bile duct, leading to liver damage. Treatment can include digestive enzyme replacement, antibiotics, and careful monitoring.

Most Connecticut birthing hospitals offer newborn cystic fibrosis screening on a voluntary basis. John Dempsey and Yale-New Haven hospitals conduct the actual testing.

OLR Tracking: JK: VR: JL: DF