AURORA, Colo. (CBS4)– State lawmakers are considering a bill that would made health screenings for newborns standard across Colorado. There are some screenings that can save lives.
One mother is supporting the bill because she knows first hand how the screenings can change lives.
“I remember hanging up phone saying, ‘We have healthy baby girl. What could possibly be wrong?'” said Amber Freouf, Katelynn’s mother.
Within hours, the newborn was airlifted to the hospital and diagnosed with Methylmalonic acidemia, a disorder in which the body cannot break down certain proteins and fats.
Doctors told the family if not for the newborn screening, Katelynn likely would have been dead within days.
“I know we’re in a day and age when parents opt out of medical procedures. She wouldn’t be here if we had,” said Freouf.
Katelynn is now five years old and receives treatment at the Children’s Hospital genetics clinic.
Dr. Peter Baker says the benefits of newborn screenings are indisputable. He says as tests for new conditions have become available, Colorado hasn’t kept up.
“We’re hoping to make the system good as can we to prevent as many bad outcomes as can,” said Baker.
The Children’s Hospital is one of more than a dozen health organizations supporting legislation that would require the Colorado Department of Health and Environment to review newborn screenings each year and add new tests as they become available.