Newborn screening for various congenital metabolic diseases has already existed in Switzerland for 50 years.
If these diseases are left untreated, serious organ damage and developmental disorders will occur in the majority of cases. The sooner diseases and/or anomalies are detected, the sooner specific treatment can be started.
Course of screening
In the case of newborn screening, some blood is taken from the heel of every newborn in Switzerland on the fourth day of life and then dried on a filter paper.
It is then processed in the only newborn screening lab in Switzerland, in the Kinderspital Zürich (children’s hospital in Zurich), where tests are carried out according to specific criteria of the World Health Organization (WHO) for eleven treatable diseases.