Why are all babies screened at birth?
Will the newborn screening blood test hurt my baby?
Most babies are born healthy..However, some infants have a serious medical condition even though they look and act like all newborns. By the time symptoms appear, it may be too late to prevent serious damage to the baby. That is why your baby will be tested before leaving the hospital.
These babies generally come from families with no previous history of a condition. Newborn screening allows health professionals to identify and treat certain conditions before they make a baby sick. Most babies with these conditions who are identified at birth and treated early are able to grow up healthy with normal development.
Is the test is safe?
- Most babies experience some brief discomfort from the heel stick, but it heals quickly and leaves no scar. The following suggestions may help make the screening experience more comfortable for you and your baby:
- Nurse/feed the baby before and/or after the procedure.
- Hold the baby during the procedure.
- Make sure the baby is warm and comfortable during the procedure.
- Studies show that when mothers or health professionals comfort babies during the heel stick, the babies are less likely to cry.
Yes, this is a simple and safe test. Blood sample is collected safely from baby heel prick.
What do I do if Baby first test results are positive?
If the results are positive, more tests will be needed. You should receive a phone call and/or letter about what to do next. After further testing, many babies who have a positive first test are found not to have a disease. However, you must have your baby re-tested because babies who do have one of these diseases benefit from early treatment.