After delivery, we at Apollo Cradle insist that every baby undergoes mandatory newborn screening tests. It is advisable that you discuss these tests in advance with your doctor, to ensure that you are thoroughly informed about the process. Your baby’s first tests are routine check-ups that help the doctors evaluate the chances of any potential complication that may need to be addressed.
What is Newborn Screening?
As the name suggests, newborn screening is a program specifically designed to screen infants just after birth. While newborn screening tests do not diagnose illness, they help indicate whether a baby needs more testing to confirm any potential complication, or to rule out any form of illness. Newborn screening tests look for developmental, genetic and metabolic disorders in a newborn baby. While most of these illnesses are very rare, early diagnosis ensures that treatment can start, before symptoms appear.
At Apollo Cradle, our trained paediatricians will also conduct a quick check to analyse behaviour, breathing, posture, activity and skin colour. While newborn screening procedures can vary, there are a few tests that are recommended for all infants.
Types of Disorders That Will Be Tested:
Apollo Cradle’s holistic newborn screening procedures help to test for disorders some of which are:
Newborn Screening Process:
At Apollo Cradle, newborn screening tests are conducted using the following methods:
1. Blood Test: A blood test is done to detect any developmental, metabolic or genetic disorders that ultra-sound scans were not able to pinpoint. A blood screen is carried out by collecting a few drops of blood, by pricking the heel of your baby, which is then collected and sent to the laboratory.
2. Hearing Test: The first few years of an infant's life is critical, as they develop speaking and language skills during this period. A hearing loss that is detected early can be treated to help prevent interference with that development.
What Are Metabolic Disorders?
Metabolic disorders are disorders that interfere our body's mechanism of using nutrients to maintain normal metabolism. Screening can also help detect other disorders such as problems with blood or hormones. These disorders can interfere with a child's normal physical and mental development in some ways. Parents may be unaware that they are passing along the gene for a certain disorder. If you are concerned about passing on a disorder while planning a baby, it is advisable that you discuss the same with your doctor and a genetic counsellor. Although these conditions are considered rare and most babies are tested normal, newborn screening tests ensure an early diagnosis and proper treatment that can make the difference between healthy development and lifelong impairment.