Learn why newborns are screened before leaving the hospital.
Before your new baby leaves the hospital, she’ll be screened for a variety of conditions. From blood tests to hearing tests, these important screenings can save your baby’s life. Learn more about the tests your baby will undergo before being discharged.
Why are newborn screenings performed?
According to the Save Babies Through Screening Foundation, newborn screening is performed to find out if your baby is at risk for disorders that require early treatment or management. In many cases, early management can prevent intellectual disability, physical disability, or death.
When are newborn screenings performed?
Unless your baby is born prematurely, newborn screenings will probably be performed within 24 to 48 hours after birth, while your baby is still in the hospital. This allows the hospital staff to begin treatment immediately if necessary.
How are newborn screenings performed?
Medline Plus explains that newborns receive three major screenings before leaving the hospital. The most well-known newborn screening is a blood test done with a quick prick at the baby’s heel. This test looks for 30 or more inherited disorders. In addition, babies are given a hearing test and a quick skin test that measures how well a baby’s heart is performing.
What if a screening is positive?
There are many courses of action if early newborn screenings determine that there may be a problem. Further testing will be used to confirm a diagnosis. In many cases, these tests show that everything is fine. In the rare case that your baby has an issue, the hospital’s medical team will move forward with a treatment plan.
Keep baby's safety in mind as she grows and develops. Kid-friendly ER at Alliance is here for all of your emergency needs. If you would like help finding a doctor, give our physician referral line a call at 1-855-5NHILLS.