Prevention of Mental Retardation due to Congenital Hypothyroidism

The program began in 1989 in the Federal District, State of Mexico and Tlaxcala, operating 21 Unidades Hospitalarias.

In the State of Tamaulipas, the Neonatal Screening is performed as of October of 1993, during that year only 589 children were sifted. From 1993 to June 2011, it has been possible to sift 430,989 children by preventing mental retardation at 270 newborns with incidence rate of 1 case for each 1,596 children.

This program is given for the detection of birth defects of all kinds and begins with the screening of Congenital Hypothyroidism, which causes mental retardation and severe disability, with the consequent physical and emotional suffering.

The detection is made by analyzing a few drops of blood from the child's heel from the third to the fifth day of birth, looking for signs of a disease that in the first days of life does not manifest clinically as is the case of congenital hypothyroidism, in This form of treatment is given, follow-up and rehabilitation are carried out, actions of vital importance for the affected child to grow and develop with fullness of life.

Prevent mental retardation and other repercussions of congenital hypothyroidism, galactosemia, phenylketonuria and congenital adrenal hyperplasia, before they manifest, through timely detection and management.

Specific objectives

  • Detect all newborns of the Health Services of Tamaulipas, suspected or probable of congenital hypothyroidism, galactosemia, phenylketonuria and congenital adrenal hyperplasia.
  • Diagnostic confirmation and comprehensive management of newborns, in the first month of life, in the units of 2º. Level.
  • Ensure comprehensive care and adequate surveillance of the neurodevelopment of patients with congenital hypothyroidism and congenital metabolic diseases.

Screening to the 100% of newborns, detect and give early management as well as follow-up to cases of congenital hypothyroidism, galactosemia and phenylketonuria attended in the units of the Ministry of Health.

Children diagnosed with congenital hypothyroidism receiving timely treatment to prevent mental retardation in each of them, with specialized care and monitoring of their development.

  • Information to parents, especially pregnant women, of the importance of timely detection of these diseases and their treatment.
  • Training for health personnel involved in each process of the neonatal screening (sample taking, sending, capture, sample analysis, report of results, information to the family, comprehensive approach to the newborn).
  • Reference and effective counter-referral of confirmed cases.
  • Evaluation and supervision of processes.
  • Dissemination and promotion in units of I and II level of care of the basic and semi-expanded neonatal screening.
  • Completion of courses for all health personnel involved in the Neonatal Screening Program (Pediatrician, Nurse and Nutritionist).
  • Realization of the Neonatal Screen of the 3er to the 5to. day of the child's life.
  • Immediate location of the child with suspicious result.
  • Timely treatment of cases with congenital hypothyroidism.
  • Medical evaluation for life, the first six years performed by the pediatrician or the specialist in endocrinology.
  • Refer children with Congenital Hypothyroidism, Phenylketonuria and Galactosemia to a program of early stimulation and nutrition.
  • Ensure that rehabilitation is applied in all cases to promote neurodevelopment.
  • When your baby is born, go to the nearest hospital of the 3er. to the 5to. day of birth.
  • Carry the baby fed.
  • Cover the feet with double socks.
  • Provide correctly (address, telephone, data of a relative).
  • Collect the results of the tests.

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