The symptoms of severe combined immunodeficiency to look out for in babies 1 week ago

The symptoms of severe combined immunodeficiency to look out for in babies

SCID can be fatal in babies.

Earlier this week, it was announced that babies in Ireland will be screened for SCID.

Severe Combined Immunodeficiency is a fatal condition if not treated in time.

The HSE recommended including the screening when babies are within 3 to 5 days old.

SCID is an inherited condition that causes low or absent T-cell counts in babies.

This makes it extremely difficult for a baby to fight infection.

Symptoms of SCID include serious and life-threatening infections that a baby cannot fight.

Cases are identified through family history, but they can also be detected through the development of infections.

According to the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, viral infections can quickly result in pneumonia as well as chronic diarrhea in babies with SCID.


"Candida (yeast) infections of the mouth and diaper area and pneumonia caused by the fungus Pneumocystis jirovecii also are common."

Doctors have stressed that detecting SCID early is essential. Not only does early detection reduce severe cases, but it also lowers mortality rates.

Experts said the condition is often fatal in the first year of a baby's life. However, early treatment can lower the risk of mortality.

Doctors can treat the condition with an allogeneic hematopoietic stem cell transplant.

The screening, done via a heel prick test, screens for 9 serious conditions including;

Adenosine Deaminase Deficiency Severe Combined Immunodeficiency (ADA-SCID)
Classical Galactosaemia
Congenital hypothyroidism (CHT)
Cystic fibrosis (CF)
Glutaric aciduria type 1 (GA1)
Homocystinuria (HCU)
Maple syrup urine disease
Medium-chain acyl-CoA dehydrogenase deficiency (MCADD)
Phenylketonuria (PKU)


Minister for Health Stephen Donnelly has supported the addition of SCID screening.

The HSE also wants to add Spinal Muscular Atrophy to the list of conditions screened.

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