Severe Combined Immunodeficiency (SCID) Specialty Care Center
Children with severe combined immunodeficiency (SCID) are born with little or no immunity, making them susceptible to potentially life-threatening infections. NewYork-Presbyterian Morgan Stanley Children's Hospital is one of only a handful of New York State-designated SCID Specialty Care Centers. We received this designation because our hospital offers comprehensive diagnostic testing, treatment, and follow-up care for children with positive newborn screening for SCID.
SCID is a rare genetic disorder in which children are born with few if any T cells, the white blood cells our bodies need to fight infections. Children born with SCID may also have few to no B cells and/or NK (natural killer) cells, the other important components of the immune system. They develop recurrent infections and fail to thrive. Unless they are treated with bone marrow transplantation, gene therapy, or enzyme replacement therapy (effective in certain forms of the disease) children with SCID usually do not survive more than two years.
Making the Right Diagnosis
All infants born in New York State are screened for SCID, but many children who have a positive test result do not actually have the disorder. Advanced testing and further evaluation are required to confirm the diagnosis. We offer these confirmation tests, including genetic testing, at NewYork-Presbyterian Morgan Stanley Children's Hospital. Our hospital accepts referrals of children who tested positive for SCID during newborn screening. To refer a patient for the evaluation of SCID or other immunological disorder, call (212) 305-2300.
We see children within 24 hours of referral to our SCID Specialty Care Center. We perform initial testing and provide many results available within 24-48 hours, and we will continue to monitor the health of those children whose additional testing indicates that they do not have SCID.
Bone Marrow Transplantation for SCID
Bone marrow transplantation (also known as stem cell transplantation) is the most effective treatment for SCID. The ideal donor is a perfectly matched (through HLA-typing) sibling who has a normal immune system. If a child does not have a matched sibling donor, good success is possible with a matched unrelated donor and even half-matched related donor (such as a parent). The best time for a child with SCID to undergo bone marrow transplantation is within the first couple of months of life, before severe and recurrent infections and other complications occur.
NewYork-Presbyterian Morgan Stanley Children's Hospital has one of the oldest and most experienced bone marrow transplantation programs in the nation. Children who undergo transplantation here benefit from an onsite pediatric intensive care unit staffed by experienced pediatric critical care medical professionals.
Your Child's Healthcare Team
The SCID Specialty Care Center team is directed by Yesim Demirdag, MD, and includes highly qualified allergists and immunologists with specialty training in immunodeficiency syndromes, genetic counselors, hematologists with expertise in bone marrow transplantation, nurses and nurse practitioners, social workers, and other support staff to meet the needs of our patients and their families.