Story by: Kim Huston on September 24, 2019
According to the American Academy of Pediatrics, 4.1 million newborns in the U. S. undergo newborn screening for congenital disorders each year. Of these, 4,000 infants are diagnosed with a condition. September is Newborn Screening Awareness Month –– did you know about this public health service in every U.S. state?
Newborn screening identifies conditions that can affect a child’s long-term health or survival. Newborn screening includes a series of tests that check for rare genetic, hormone-related and metabolic conditions that may not be apparent at birth. Finding and diagnosing these conditions as early as possible gives health care providers and parents the ability to provide children the treatments they need to survive, prevent disability and live a healthy life.
Screening varies by state –– while there are national recommendations for newborn screening, each state determines what screenings are required for babies in that state.
Newborn screening usually includes tests for:
Most states also screen for hearing loss and critical congenital heart disease. Other rare, serious medical conditions usually included in newborn screening are:
Make sure you’re aware of your state’s specific screening requirements. Talk with your doctor if you’re concerned that your baby may need other newborn screening tests not offered through your state’s program.
Kentucky’s newborn screening law requires all newborns to receive screening tests before being discharged from the hospital. If a child is born outside of a hospital or health care facility, he or she must be tested 24 to 48 hours after birth. The tests include:
Norton Children’s provides the comprehensive, highly skilled care that your newborn may need. With a proven team of accomplished neonatal specialists, our two Norton Children’s neonatal intensive care units (NICUs) are dedicated to caring for babies born prematurely or in need of advanced care or surgery.
The commonwealth of Kentucky screens for the following conditions with the blood test:
Should your baby have a positive result for a screening, it does not necessarily mean that he or she has the condition. Your baby’s pediatrician will speak with you about the results. It may simply mean the child is at risk or that more testing may be required to make a diagnosis. You may receive a letter asking you to take your baby for additional testing as well as genetic testing. Even if your baby tested negative for all conditions, your child’s pediatrician may want to repeat a test or perform other tests to confirm the results. Additionally, if you do not hear anything about the results of the newborn screen, that’s OK, “no news is good news.” The state only reports out abnormal tests.