This month Kids First Pediatrics of Raleigh and Clayton wants to bring attention to the importance of having a newborn screening. Newborn screening is a state public health service performed soon after the birth of a baby. In many cases, the screening is performed while still in the hospital. Screening is designed to identify infants who may be at increased risk of certain diseases.
Currently, newborn screening is available for more than 60 disorders but availability differs by state. Though diseases can be identified and treated early on before a major problem occurs, a screening test cannot confirm or rule out particular conditions (“Screening Facts | Baby’s First Test | Newborn Screening | Baby Health”).
There are three parts to a newborn screening: a heel stick to collect blood (usually performed between 24 and 48 hours after the baby is born), pulse oximetry to record the amount of oxygen in the baby’s blood and a hearing screen. In the United States, all newborn babies born in a hospital will receive a screening unless a parent decides otherwise due to religious reasons. It is a requirement by law and is an important first step to safeguard a baby’s health from serious and rare conditions.
Most newborn screening test results are normal. If a result is not normal, the baby gets a different kind of test called a diagnostic test. From there, health professionals can build the best course of treatment to give each baby as full of a life as possible.
To learn more about screenings and other services offered to newborns and parents at Kids First Pediatrics of Raleigh and Clayton, visit our website HERE.
“Screening Facts | Baby’s First Test | Newborn Screening | Baby Health.” www.babysfirsttest.org, www.babysfirsttest.org/newborn-screening/screening-101.
“Newborn Screening Tests for Your Baby.” www.marchofdimes.org, www.marchofdimes.org/baby/newborn-screening-tests-for-your-baby.aspx.