Question: Is A PKU Test Required By Law?

When should PKU test be done?

The blood sample for PKU is usually taken from your baby’s heel (called a heel stick).

The test is done in the first few days after birth, as early as 24 hours after birth.

The test may be repeated within the first week or two after birth..

Can parents refuse PKU test?

The screen is mandated by law. The only legal reason to refuse newborn screening is if it conflicts with your religious tenets or practices.

What is the life expectancy of someone with phenylketonuria?

PKU does not shorten life expectancy, with or without treatment. Newborn screening for PKU is required in all 50 states.

What happens if PKU is left untreated?

Untreated PKU can lead to: Irreversible brain damage and marked intellectual disability beginning within the first few months of life. Neurological problems such as seizures and tremors. Behavioral, emotional and social problems in older children and adults.

How is PKU detected?

PKU can be easily detected with a simple blood test. All states in the United States require a PKU screening test for all newborns as part of the newborn screening panel. The test is generally done by taking a few drops of blood from the baby before the baby leaves the hospital.

Can you refuse PKU testing?

As a parent, you may refuse newborn screening if your religious beliefs and practices do not allow this testing. If you refuse to have the tests done, you will be asked to sign a form stating that you refused to have your baby tested for these very serious disorders.

Is PKU testing mandatory in the US?

Today, every American state screens newborns for PKU and congenital hypothyroidism. Nearly all screen for additional metabolic disorders as well. In only two states (Maryland and Wyoming) is explicit parental consent required for every screening program.

How do they test for PKU in adults?

If a child or adult shows symptoms of PKU, such as developmental delays, the doctor will order a blood test to confirm the diagnosis. This test involves taking a sample of blood and analyzing it for the presence of the enzyme needed to break down phenylalanine.

Can you develop PKU later in life?

Although it is principally a childhood disorder, in rare cases, the first signs of PKU may develop in late adulthood resembling common neurological diseases.

How common is PKU in the world?

PKU occurs in about 1/10,000 to15,000 births, but classic PKU symptoms are rarely seen because of newborn screening tests for the disease.

Can you refuse newborn screening?

If you refuse newborn screening, you must indicate your refusal in writing. Staff from the birth facility will send a copy of the refusal form to the Newborn Screening program. An original form will be kept in your child’s medical chart with a copy given to you by hospital staff or your birth provider.

What does a positive PKU test mean?

This is a blood test to screen newborns for phenylketonuria (PKU), a condition that can cause brain damage and severe intellectual disability if it goes untreated. The problems often appear in the first year of life, causing infants to appear abnormally sleepy and listless.