Sickle Cell Disease (newborn)
The UK NSC policy on Sickle cell disease screening in newborns
Sickle Cell disorders are a group of inheritable genetic conditions in which there is an abnormality of the haemoglobin. Haemoglobin carries oxygen to the various organs of the body and is contained in the red blood cells. In the sickle cell disorders some of the red blood cells assume a sickle shape following the release of oxygen. This abnormal shape causes the cells to clump together making their passage through smaller blood vessels difficult, which may lead to blockage of these small blood vessels and an associated inflammatory reaction.
Screening for sickle cell disease is offered to all newborn babies.
This policy was reviewed in Jul 2006 and significant changes were made. It is due to be considered again in 2012/13, or earlier if significant new evidence emerges.
Screening in the UK
Compare how screening is offered across the UK.
Evidence Supporting the Policy
Considerations were based on two HTA reports (below), plus experiences from programmes in USA and France.
HTA 1999, Vol 3, no. 11 "Antenatal and neonatal haemoglobinopathy screening in the UK: review and economic analysis"
HTA 2000, Vol 4, no. 3 "Screening for sickle cell disease and thalassaemia: a systematic review with supplementary research"
The stakeholder groups will be involved when the policy is next reviewed. If you think your organisation should be added, please contact us.