We may think of health screenings as things adults do – a blood pressure check, an inspection of the ears and throat and maybe even a cholesterol or blood sugar level check. In fact, for our babies, health screenings begin just moments after they are born.
In 2011, the CDC said, “Newborn screening is one of the 10 Greatest Public Health Achievements in the past decade.” These screenings inform your Bay Street pediatricians about the overall health of your newborn. We can diagnose and help prevent or treat any serious illness as early as possible.
The Connecticut Newborn Screening Program (NBS) was launched in 1964 and has grown to include screenings for more than 60 conditions. By taking a very small sample of blood from Baby’s heel in the first one to two days of life, we can identify these conditions quickly, giving your Bay Street health care providers the information needed to give your baby the healthiest start possible.
NBS screenings include:
- PKU or phenylketonuria
- Congenital adrenal hyperplasia
- Severe combined immune deficiency (SCID)
- Congenital hypothyroidism
- Biotinidase deficiency
- Sickle cell disease
- Amino and urea cycle disorders
- Fatty acid oxidation disorders
- Organic acid disorders
- Maple syrup urine disease
- Lysosomal storage disorders
- Cystic fibrosis
Your newborn is also tested for hearing loss, bilirubin or jaundice, and congenital heart disease.
Newborns also get an injection of Vitamin K here in Connecticut. This prevents Vitamin K Deficiency Bleeding (VKDB), when Baby doesn’t have enough Vitamin K to clot blood. Baby gets their first dose of Hepatitis B vaccine in these first few hours, protecting their liver from infection.
Traveling through the birth canal can expose Baby to bacteria that causes serious eye infections. Your baby will have Erythromycin ointment applied to their eyes.
Your Bay Street pediatrician and our Connecticut hospitals want to be sure your baby has the healthiest start possible. If you have questions about newborn screenings and testing, please contact us by replying to this email or calling our office at 203-227-3674. We are always happy to help.