Newborn screening or heel prick test or neonatal screening test is a public health service that the United States offers free of cost to every newborn for a group of health disorders. With a simple blood test of your baby, the doctors will be able to check for rare genetic, hormone-related, and metabolic conditions that can cause serious health problems. To diagnose babies quickly and start treatment earlier, pediatricians usually use the test after taking the parents’ verbal or written consent.
Newborn Screening May Include Tests for Metabolic Problems
Metabolism is the physical and chemical process by which a living cell or organism converts oxygen and food into energy, which the body can use to move, think, and grow. Enzymes are special proteins that help speed up chemical reactions in cells, whereas most metabolic issues happen when particular enzymes are missing or are not working properly. Metabolic difficulties in newborn screening include phenylketonuria or PKU, methylmalonic acidemia, tyrosinemia, citrullinemia, and medium-chain acyl CoA dehydrogenase deficiency.
Newborn Screening May Include Tests for Hormone Problems
Hormones are a kind of chemical messenger made from glands. And, hormone difficulty happens when glands produce not enough or too many hormones in the body. Hormone concerns in neonatal screening include congenital hypothyroidism and congenital adrenal hyperplasia. Congenital hypothyroidism happens if the thyroid gland of the baby is not developing properly, although this is a rare disease.
Newborn Screening May Include Tests for Hemoglobin Problems
Hemoglobin is a type of protein in red blood cells, the function of which is to carry oxygen throughout the body. Hemoglobin problems in newborn screening include sickle-cell disease, hemoglobin SC disease, and beta-thalassemia. In sickle-cell disease, the red blood cells change their shape from the usual disk shape into the unusual crescent-moon shape.
Newborn Screening May Include Tests for Other Problems
There are other concerns that may include in newborn screening, although they are rare diseases despite being serious medical issues. Galactosemia, biotinidase deficiency, cystic fibrosis, severe combined immunodeficiency or SCID, Pompe disease or glycogen storage disease type 2, mucopolysaccharidosis type 1, X-linked adrenoleukodystrophy, spinal muscular atrophy or SMA, critical congenital heart disease, and hearing loss are some of them. These tests can be the same for madres de alquiler or surrogate mothers.
Newborn Screening Procedure
If you have not delivered your baby to a hospital, talk to a doctor for newborn screening. On the other hand, if you have delivered your baby in a hospital, a nurse, or midwife will prick the heel of your baby to take a small blood sample filling up the 5 circles of a particular strip perfectly. They may do this after a day or a couple of days of the birth of the baby, typically before you leave the hospital, though the authority may do the test before 24 hours in some cases. In this situation, the experts may ask you to come with the baby for a repeat test within 15 days.
Getting the Results of Neonatal Screening Test
If there are any concerns with the results, the authority of the hospital will contact you regarding the heel prick test. Generally, a few babies need to have the test for the second time, which could be necessary only if the first test did not give a clear result. If the tests show that your baby has one of the rare but serious conditions, your baby will need further tests to confirm the results, for which they will call you to come on a fixed date or given appointment.
If you want, you can refuse newborn screening tests on your baby, based upon which the hospital authority will not proceed with doing the test. But you should remember that refusing the test is nothing but unnecessarily risking your baby’s life. Although most babies don’t have any of the conditions, some babies have. And, if you let them do the test, it will help improve your baby’s health, prevent severe disability to death, and provide numerous benefits.