Newborn - Rules and Regulations
Early History of Newborn Screening in Arkansas
In the absence of federal mandates to screen for any particular disorders, Arkansas historically added conditions for newborn screening one by one, always as a result of legislative action. A similar process was also employed in virtually every other state during the early decades of screening. The first disorder for which newborn screening was mandated in Arkansas was Phenylketonuria (PKU), per Act 192 of 1981. The next disorder, Congenital Hypothyroidism (CH), was added as a result of Act 481 of 1981. Screening for Sickle Hemoglobin Diseases was authorized in 1987 (Act 573), but screening was not implemented until 1988. Later on, Act 113 of 1995 mandated screening for Galactosemia, which was implemented in January 1, 1996. Finally, the law mandating hearing screening for most Arkansas newborns was passed in 1999. To assure screening for all of these conditions, the Arkansas Department of Health (ADH) was designated the lead agency.