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News and Education

Hemoglobinopathies Best Practices Webinar

The Association of Public Health Laboratories (APHL) in collaboration with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention's National Center on Birth Defects and Developmental Disabilities (NCBDDD) are excited to announce the launch of a best practices document titled Hemoglobinopathies: Current Practices for Screening, Confirmation and Follow-up.
 
This document is just one of the products resulting from a cooperative agreement to identify and catalog best practices for hemoglobinopathy newborn screening and diagnostic testing. The hemoglobinopathies are a group of disorders (such as sickle cell disease and thalassemia) passed down through families (inherited) in which hemoglobin—the protein in red blood cells that carries oxygen to the tissues—is either abnormal or deficient.
 
What is the purpose of the best practices document

  • The document aims to improve and strengthen US and international newborn screening and diagnostic testing capabilities by offering best practices, thereby contributing to the goal of early detection of hemoglobin disorders.
  • By improving newborn screening methods to achieve accurate detection of hemoglobinopathies, CDC will be able to better assess the public health burden of these disorders and work on ways to improve and extend the lives of those living with a hemoglobinopathy.

What kind of information is included in the best practices document?

  • An introduction to hemoglobinopathies
  • A summary of the history of hemoglobinopathy newborn screening
  • Information on the types of blood samples required for hemoglobinopathy newborn screening and diagnostic testing (for example, dried blood spots and liquid whole blood)
  • Descriptions of methods used for hemoglobinopathy newborn screening and diagnostic testing
  • A discussion of the methods' advantages and limitations, and strategies for newborn screening and diagnostic testing
  • Special processes or procedures called "algorithms" for hemoglobin detecting
  • Quality Assurance for hemoglobinopathy newborn screening and diagnostic testing, and
  • Follow-up procedures for affected or non-affected individuals

Training Webinar 
We are also pleased to announce that an accompanying training webinar has been developed that walks the viewer through the different sections within the best practices document. Get to know each speaker by visiting their brief bios. The 98-minute webinar is divided into three modules, as described below: 

  • Module 1: Introduction, History, Specimen Collection
  • Module 2a: Hemoglobinopathy Screening Methods: Isoelectric Focusing (IEF), High Performance Liquid Chromatography (HPLC)
  • Module 2b: Molecular Methods, Tandem Mass Spectrometry, Overall Method Advantages and Limitations
  • Module 3: Screening and Reporting Algorithms, Quality Assurance, Follow-up

Viewers will be eligible to earn 1.5 P.A.C.E.® or Florida continuing education credit hours. In order to receive continuing education credits, viewers will be required to complete the evaluation survey, which is available for completion until May 2017.

Spread the word! We encourage you to share the best practices document and training webinar with others. For more information, please contact Careema Yusuf, careema.yusuf@aphl.org.