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Tuesday, January 6, 2015

Metascreen: To Guard Against ‘Sudden Death’ of Babies


Wazzup Pilipinas!

A new-born baby is a precious gift given to every parent especially if its a first-born. We are all delighted to see the product of our love for each other when two individuals expressed their love for each other. It is thus shocking to find out that an estimated 7,000 babies die each year without warning.[i]  If nearly one baby every hour each day dies abruptly, then this is a terrible trauma for every parent out there.

The possible causes of death remain unknown even after undergoing autopsy which leaves many parents clueless. Many are unaware that there is what is called Sudden Infant Death Syndrome (SIDS) - the unexplained death of babies usually occurring during sleep and striking under unexpected circumstances.

Studies have shown that babies with physical conditions including brain abnormalities, low birth weight and respiratory infection have higher risk of dying an unexplained death.

Still some studies indicated that an infant’s sleeping position may also be a cause. Babies sleeping on their stomach side are more prone as they may suffer more difficulty in breathing. Those sleeping on soft surfaces and with their parents are also at risk. [ii]

Even a healthy one-year old baby may be a victim of the condition which is often simply attributed to physical and environmental factors.




Various newborn screening tests are being employed as a means of identifying inborn disorders to address this alarming problem. For instance, dried blood spot screening, usually available in hospitals, can effectively screen the newborn of many metabolic disorders.

This type of screening, however, can only detect less than 50 metabolic disorders.[iii]

Given that there are far more metabolic disorders that place an infant in danger of SIDS, a new process called Metascreen, an expanded, advanced and non-invasive metabolic screening service, was developed.

Metascreen can detect up to more than 100 inborn errors of metabolism (IEM) through a painless method that uses the child’s urine sample collected after 48 hours of birth.

IEM is a rare genetic disorder characterized by the lack of enzymes needed in the body to maintain the normal body metabolic temperature.

This condition eventually causes the build-up of toxic substances and a deficiency of the critical ones. And because this may remain undetected during the infant stages of the baby, it poses as a silent threat to every newborn.



Aside from causing sudden death, the disease may also trigger serious developmental issues and lifelong disease, if left untreated.

Research showed that 10% of the SIDS cases can significantly be attributed to these inherited metabolic defects.

In the Philippines, this comprehensive newborn screening is offered by Cordlife Medical Philippines, the country’s most chosen cord blood and cord lining banking institution. Metascreen is offered free to all mothers who bank their baby’s cord blood and cord lining at Cordlife.

“Sudden Infant Death Syndrome is a serious and unseen condition that contributes to infant mortality,” said Dr. Arvin Faundo, Medical Director, Cordlife Medical Philippines. “Metascreen offers mothers the chance to reduce this incidence to secure the future and the wellbeing of their newborn.”

The screening test is performed by the Hong Kong Screening Centre Limited, a company that provides early and accurate detection of metabolic disorders in newborn babies.



“Here in the Philippines, we take pride in providing our clients with the best facilities to ensure that Cordlife is something they can depend on especially when it comes to securing the health of their newborn,” Faundo added.

Cordlife Medical Philippines, is a branch of Cordlife Group Limited which owns and operates processing and cryopreservation storage facilities across Asia including in Singapore, Hong Kong, India and Indonesia.

The Group’s processing and storage facilities in Singapore, Hong Kong, and India are also AABB, formerly known as American Association of Blood Banks, accredited, meeting the gold standard of private cord blood banking.

Cordlife Group also has a direct investment in China Cord Blood Corporation, one of the top operators in China.

For more information, download Cordlife’s free infopack @ www.cordlife.ph or call (02) 3321888 to know how you can invest in your children’s future.




[i] Retrieved from: http://sids-network.org/facts.htm
[iii] Retrieved from: http://www.metascreen.com.hk/metascreen-advantage/more-than-100-disorders-tested

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