Newborn screening is a public health service done in each U.S. state. Every newborn is tested for a group of health disorders that aren’t otherwise found at birth. With a simple blood test, doctors can check for rare genetic, hormone-related, and metabolic conditions that can cause serious health problems.
What do they test for when baby is born?
The most common newborn screening tests in the US include those for hypothyrodism (underactivity of the thyroid gland), PKU (phenylketonuria), galactosemia, and sickle cell disease. Testing for hypothyroidism and PKU is required in virtually all States.
What test do hospitals run on newborns?
The newborn screening test, called the Recommended Uniform Screening Panel (RUSP), is done when your baby turns 24 hours old and is usually performed in the nursery at the hospital. The nurse will swab your baby’s heel, then prick the heel and blot five small blood samples on a testing paper.
Do they test your baby after delivery?
Newborn screening is performed soon after the birth of your baby, and in most cases, while you are still in the hospital. All it takes is a few drops of blood and a simple hearing test. Learn more about the testing process in the What To Expect section.
Is PKU test mandatory?
Although PKU is rare, all newborns in the United States are required to get a PKU test. The test is easy, with virtually no health risk. But it can save a baby from lifelong brain damage and/or other serious health problems. If PKU is found early, following a special, low-protein/low-Phe diet can prevent complications.
Is blood type tested at birth?
The easiest way is to quickly check your birth certificate, since blood type is sometimes listed in birth records, Dr. Lee says.
Why is blood taken from a baby heel?
The ‘heel prick test’ is when a blood sample is taken from a baby’s heel so that the baby’s blood can be tested for certain metabolic disorders. The blood sample is taken using an automated device called a lancet. The lancet is used to make a small puncture on the side of the baby’s heel.
Which screening test is performed at about 16 weeks of pregnancy?
Between weeks 16 and 18 of pregnancy, your health care provider may offer you a second trimester screening test (known as the multiple marker test or triple screen).
How is PKU test performed?
The blood sample for PKU is usually taken from your baby’s heel (called a heel stick). The test is done in the first few days after birth, as early as 24 hours after birth. The test may be repeated within the first week or two after birth.
What disorders does PKU test for?
This is a blood test to screen newborns for phenylketonuria (PKU), a condition that can cause brain damage and severe intellectual disability if it goes untreated. The problems often appear in the first year of life, causing infants to appear abnormally sleepy and listless.