Newborn Screening Tests

Find out what tests are performed in the hospital after your baby is born.

Newborn screening is a blood test performed on your baby soon after his or her birth. Your hospital obtains a blood sample usually on your day of discharge. The blood sample is taken from the heel of your baby's foot and then dried on a piece of filter paper. The filter paper is sent to your State Health Department for testing. Your doctor is given the results and will contact you immediately if there is a problem. If you are not contacted, you should still ask you doctor about your baby's results.

Your baby is being tested for eight different disorders. These eight disorders are the most common ones tested for, but guidelines vary in each state. If it is found that your baby has one of these disorders, there is no cure. But some of the effects can be reduced or eliminated if treatment if started early enought, which is why babies are tested right after birth.

The following disorders can be identified through newborn screening:

PKU

-The food protein PKU cannot be processed by the body because an enzyme or chemical is missing.



-If missed, it can cause brain damage or severe mental retardation.

-It is found in 1 baby every 12-18,000 births.

MAPLE SYRUP URINE DISEASE (MSUD)

-3 proteins cannot processed properly by the body and the urine smells like maple syrup because of it.

-If missed, it can cause severe mental retardation or disabilities.

-It is found in 1 baby every 200,000 or so births.

GALACTOSEMIA

-A milk sugar (named above) cannot be processed by the body.

-If missed, it can cause speech, vision or liver problems.

-It is found in 1 baby every 60,000 births.

HOMOCYSTINURIA

-Parts of the protein (named above) cannot be processed by the body.

-If missed, it can cause mental retardation and osteoporosis.

-It is found in 1 baby every 200,000 or so births.

SICKLE CELL DISEASE

-Oxygen supply is reduced to organs by deformed red blood cells.

-If missed, it can cause amemia.

-It is found in 1 African American baby every 500 births.

BIOTINIDASE DEFICIENCY

-B vitamin, biotin, cannot be processed by the body.

-If missed, it can cause vision and hearing impairment and brain damage.

-It is found in 1 baby every 50,000 births.

HIV

-The virus that causes AIDS.

-Babies with HIV need special medical care and the mother must also because she must be infected with HIV also.

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