Newborn screening is a medical procedure where a newborn baby is screened within 3-5 days of birth for some diseases that might affect the baby’s health. The idea is to perform the tests and detect diseases if any at the earliest stage possible so that the necessary treatment can be provided at the very starting of the disease and it can be controlled or cured. It is also important to keep in mind here that these tests are screening tests and should not be considered as the final diagnosis. Parents often feel that everything is alright because a newborn does not exhibit any signs or symptoms of any disorder whatsoever. It may be noted here that any underlying condition will surface its symptoms and signs only after a few days or weeks post birth. Though we all hope that our babies are healthy and well, however, just in case a baby has a condition that is left undiagnosed, it will cause the baby health complications in the future. In such a case, the baby’s mental and physical growth can be compromised or inhibited.
Incidence of congenital hypothyroidism is common (approx. 3-5 per thousand live birth) in India and if this condition diagnosed and proper treatment started within first 2 weeks of life, it prevents mental retardation in the affected baby which is very common if remain undetected. Similar way prevalence of G-6 PD is common in certain race in India like Sindhis, punjabi's and others and simply avoiding some medications prevents complications in neonates. Among 1000 newborn baby born, every 3- 5 babies have congenital deafness and if this condition diagnosed early and treatment started within first 6 months of life chances of speech delay in affected children is very less. Some congenital heart diseases become symptomatic after 3 days of life and poses serious threats to baby’s life. By measuring blood oxygen saturation through pulse oximeter, these serious heart conditions can be diagnosed after 24 hrs of life and corrective steps can be taken so will prevent catastrophic deterioration in affected babies. As per Government of India recommendations, certain metabolic disorders, critical congenital heart diseases and hearing deficit should to be tested after birth and preferably before discharge from the hospital.
Blood samples are taken from the baby’s heels within 3-5 days after the birth and preferably on day 3 of life or just before discharge whichever comes early for the newborn metabolic screening tests. It is just a quick prick in your baby’s heels to take a few drops of blood sample for the test.
We offer following screening tests at Cloudnine hospital Kailash colony in all newborn baby-
We do advance newborn metabolic tests/genetic tests if initial screening tests is positive or there is a history of metabolic disease in sibling or there are certain signs and symptoms present in child during later part of the neonatal period. In baby having positive screening tests confirmatory tests should be done to confirm the disease.
Discuss with your baby doctor about newborn screening tests during 1st post -natal visit and tell them to do all these tests before discharge.
Note- Now a days, all laboratories are sending reports directly on the parents email address or there what’s app number. Collect these report after 3-5 days of the tests and show it to your pediatric doctor.
Want to consult the Best Pediatricians in India? Please find the links below.