Newborn Screening

Newborn screening is a vital process of testing babies shortly after birth to detect any conditions that may require early treatment or management. This simple, non-invasive process is designed to give parents peace of mind and ensure their child has the best possible start in life. It screens for conditions such as sickle cell anaemia, hearing loss, and cystic fibrosis. Early detection allows for prompt diagnosis and treatment, which can be life-changing. Newborn screening can also provide long-term benefits through preventative care or lifestyle changes.

What is Newborn Screening?

Newborn screening is a series of tests conducted shortly after birth to identify a range of health conditions. These tests can pick up genetic and metabolic disorders, such as cystic fibrosis, hearing loss, and congenital heart defects. It is recommended that all newborns in the UK be screened for between 8 to 20 different conditions. The test involves taking a few drops of blood from the baby's heel, which is then sent off for laboratory analysis. If any problems are identified, then further tests, treatment, or support can be provided quickly and efficiently.

What are the different types of Newborn Screening?

There are various types of newborn screening available. These include hearing tests, metabolic and genetic disorder testing, anaemia screening, eye exams, and urine tests. Hearing issues can be identified through a series of tests that involve listening to sound frequencies and measuring responses. Metabolic and genetic disorder screenings use blood samples to identify possible disorders like phenylketonuria (PKU). Anaemia screening uses a heel-prick test to measure haemoglobin levels in the baby's blood. Eye exams are conducted to detect any vision problems. Urine tests are used to detect urinary tract infections or other medical conditions.

What causes Newborn Screening?

Newborn screening is a set of tests that check for a range of serious health conditions in babies shortly after they are born. These tests are carried out because some conditions can cause serious health problems if not detected and treated quickly. The most common causes of the need for newborn screening include genetic disorders, metabolic diseases, endocrine disorders, haematological disorders, and infections. Through these tests, abnormalities or signs of an illness can be identified at an early stage, and appropriate treatment can be provided if needed.

What are the symptoms of Newborn Screening?

Newborn screening is a series of tests conducted shortly after birth to detect certain conditions that may not be immediately apparent. The most common tests are for hearing loss, congenital hypothyroidism, sickle cell anaemia, and some metabolic disorders. They do not detect all physical or mental disabilities but can give an early indication of any potential problems. Tests are typically done by taking a blood sample from the baby's heel or arm and examining it in a laboratory. The results will be available within two to three weeks. No symptoms are associated with newborn screening, as it is usually done before any signs or symptoms appear in the baby.

What are the risk factors for Newborn Screening?

The main risk factors for newborn screening are prematurity, low birth weight, maternal diabetes and infection during pregnancy, a family history of certain genetic conditions, and the mother being over 35 years old. Screening tests may also be offered to babies born to women who received certain treatments during pregnancy, such as certain medications or radiation therapy. Other possible risk factors include a family history of hearing loss, cystic fibrosis, or other inherited disorders.

How should a patient prepare for the procedure of Newborn Screening?

Parents should prepare for newborn screening by discussing the procedure with their doctor before the baby's birth. The doctor will provide information about the screening and explain any risks associated with it. Parents should also ask what tests are recommended and whether they need to arrange any follow-up appointments. It is important to inform the midwife or doctor if there is a family history of any inherited conditions that may be picked up during the test. Finally, make sure all paperwork is completed ahead of time so that results can be obtained as quickly as possible.


Newborn screening is an important part of providing comprehensive healthcare for babies. It is a simple, non-invasive procedure that can identify potential health risks before any symptoms are present. Early detection and intervention can save lives and improve outcomes for newborns with genetic disorders or other conditions. With the advances in technology, newborn screening has become more accurate and reliable than ever before, giving families peace of mind during this critical time. Newborn screening is an essential part of ensuring a healthy start for babies, making it one of the most significant medical advancements of our time.

Request an appointment at Apollo Cradle, Bengaluru - Brookefield. Call 1860-500-1066 to book an appointment.

1. What is the purpose of newborn screening?

Newborn screening is used to identify conditions that can be treated if detected early, allowing for successful treatment and an improved prognosis.

2. What processes are involved in newborn screening?

Newborn screening typically involves a blood test and physical examination to assess hearing, heart rate, reflexes, muscle tone, and other physical traits that might indicate a health condition.

3. How accurate are the results of newborn screening?

The accuracy of newborn screening tests depends on the type of test used. Generally, these tests have a high degree of accuracy when performed correctly.

4. When should newborns receive their first round of screenings?

Newborns typically receive their initial screenings within 24 hours after birth. Additional screenings may be done throughout the newborn's first year of life.

Our Doctors

Book an Appointment




Pregnancy Calculator