An incredibly simple blood test can save the lives of many children.
Newborn babies are now beginning to be tested in many US states.
The test searches for a beta ketothiolase deficiency.
This deficiency if discovered at an early age can be treated to avoid its unpleasant and even life-threatening effects.
Many children receive mandatory and optional blood tests for a whole range of potentially serious disorders including congenital hypothyroidism and sickle cell disease.
The test for beta ketothiolase deficiency is not widespread even though the condition is capable of bringing on neurological damage, it can induce serious seizures, and in extreme cases, it may possibly bring on comas and even result in death.
So far, the numbers of children who are found to have this disorder through a blood test are extremely low.
But, many doctors and health experts are pushing for mandatory screening on a national level as the earlier the disorder is discovered the more effective the treatment can be.
One obstacle to the test is that the disorder is a relatively rare occurrence and nationally does not affect a large number of children.
What proponents of the test say is that it is a very cheap, simple and conclusive test that although only affecting small numbers it should be introduced to save the quality of life of those babies who would otherwise be suffering from its effects.