Simple, New Test Offers More Reliable Health Screening For Newborns

by TGC Staff | July 26, 2001 12:00 am

Baby feet must be the most adorable things on earth. Even more than a source for tickling, however, your babys foot actually offers a precious giftan invaluable glimpse into your babys health future.

You may have heard about the simple heel-stick test newborns receive before they go home from the hospital. This is a valuable screening that helps doctors diagnose inherited disorders (such as PKU) in newborns that require special care. But not all screening is the same.

If you live in Colorado your new baby will receive the routine heel-stick screening for cystic fibrosis (CF) and five other disorders in the first few days of life. Babies born in California, New Jersey, or 45 other states, however, will not be screened for CF, but may be screened for other disorders not included in Colorados program.

States all agree its important to screen babies within 48 hours of birth for hidden disorders that may require immediate treatment to save the baby from brain damage or other serious problems. Unfortunately, standardized, nationwide screening does not exist and the result is that babies do not receive comprehensive screening for all detectable disorders in any state. Most state newborn screening programs only screen for four to six disorders, however, screening for nearly 40 disorders is possible using new advancements in newborn screening.

So what can you do to make sure your baby receives all the screening that is available? Order expanded newborn screening, which is in addition to your states screening program. When your baby receives the routine heel-stick for the state screening, a few drops of blood can be placed on a separate screening card. You mail the card to the screening laboratory and results will be reported to your babys doctor.

For more information, call Cbr NewScreen at 1-800-747-3319

Source: naps

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