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13 percent of Arkansas' babies' samples hit goal - KTBS.com - Shreveport, LA News, Weather and Sports

13 percent of Arkansas' babies' samples hit goal

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Only 13 percent of the more than 36,000 blood samples collected from newborn babies in Arkansas made it to the state Department of Health's laboratory within the department's target time span of 48 hours.

Health Department spokesman Ed Barham told the Aransas Democrat-Gazette that the percentage recorded in the fiscal year that ended June 30, 2012, was an improvement from the previous fiscal year, when only 8 percent of the samples arrived at the Little Rock laboratory within 48 hours.

Barham says the department's goal is for at least 75 percent of samples to arrive at the laboratory within the two-day window.

Patricia Scott, manager of the Health Department's newborn screening program, says early diagnosis of a disorder can save a baby's life or prevent permanent health damage.

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