APHL’s Top 10 Blog Posts of 2013

APHL had an exciting year!  Here are the ten blog posts that attracted the most readers this year.  As you’ll see, there’s a big focus on newborn screening thanks to our 50th Anniversary campaign.  We’d like to offer a special thanks to the many families who shared these inspirational stories!

APHL's Top 10 Blog Posts of 2013 | www.aphlblog.org

10. Proof of the Value of Newborn Screening at Every Milestone – Joe is an adorable blue-eyed dimpled little boy who loves math.  But after learning their perfect new baby had PKU, Joe’s parents worried.  A doctor assured them, “He can have the greatest life.”  And he has.

9. Screening Scores Big for These Minnesota Twins – Sam and Grace were both born with PKU.  Their parents were saddened to think of all the exciting food-related things they might not get to do – no hot dogs at ballgames or ice cream cones in the summertime.  Eventually they came to appreciate the diagnosis and understand what missing this important information might have meant. “We are so lucky and fortunate that our children were born in a time and place where a simple test saved their lives,” said their mother, Becca.

8. Anthrax in Minnesota? The Laboratory Response Network Springs into Action – After a several-week long road trip, a man became severely ill.  What was causing the illness and how many people might he have infected along the way?  The Minnesota lab jumped into action and solved this public health mystery.

7. Two Siblings Born With Isovaleric Acidemia: One Caught by Newborn Screening, One Wasn’t – The Monaco family’s experience is a perfect example of why newborn screening is so critical.  One of their children was born at a time when his disease was not on their state’s screening panel; another one of their children was born at a time when her disease, the same as her brother’s, was on their state’s screening panel.  Their outcomes are dramatically different, all because of newborn screening.

6. No Story Is the Best Story – Honey emailed us to share photos of her daughter, Maren, during our 50 Years of Saving Babies’ Lives campaign.  She mentioned that Maren has a condition that was detected by newborn screening, and because of this early detection they were never a family in crisis and do not have a scary, dramatic story.  Her story – or lack thereof – struck many of us at APHL.

5. A Pediatrician’s Quick Thinking Saved Maggie Grace – Maggie seemed like a typical newborn to her first-time-parents.  As they all prepared to leave the hospital, something happened and Maggie was sent to the NICU.  Luckily, her pediatrician had the foresight to contact the state public health lab and have Maggie’s newborn screening results rushed.  That decision may have saved her life.

4. What Exactly Does the Shutdown Mean for Public Health? – The federal government shutdown had sweeping impacts across the nation.  But what did it mean for the many critical federal public health programs?  Luckily state and local programs were still hard at work, but they were missing an integral part of the public health system.

3. PKU Hasn’t Stopped Elisa From Living Her Dreams – Elisa was born with PKU; fortunately for her it was detected by newborn screening at birth.  Now an adult, Elisa has traveled the world, gotten married and had a baby of her own.  “PKU can’t stop you from living your dreams… I’m excited for life.”

2. On the Verge of a Coma, Baby Carter’s Life was Saved – Carter was born just before Thanksgiving. As his parents prepared to host family for the holiday, they got a call that his newborn screening results were abnormal.  Carter has Maple Syrup Urine Disease (MSUD), and, within those first days of life, was literally hours from slipping into what could’ve been a damaging coma.  Now Carter is a typical rambunctious tot who keeps his family very busy!

The most read blog post of 2013… It’s a tie!

1. Federal Public Health Programs and Employees are Essential Despite Label – During the federal government shutdown, employees were referred to as “essential” and “nonessential” as a designation of who was furloughed and who was required to work.  As APHL’s executive director, Scott Becker, pointed out, ALL public health workers were essential whether furloughed or not.

1. Tap Water vs. Bottled Water – Do you drink tap or bottled water?  One of APHL’s environmental health staffers explained why bottled water many not be any better than tap.  It might have you thinking twice about buying that expensive bottle of water!

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