National Institutes of Health
- The primary NIH organization for research on Newborn Screening is the National Institute of Child Health and Human Development
Newborn screening tests take place before your newborn leaves the hospital. Babies are tested to identify serious or life-threatening conditions before symptoms begin. Such diseases are usually rare. However, they can affect a baby's normal physical and mental development.
Most tests use a few drops of blood from pricking the baby's heel. A hearing test involves placing a tiny earphone in the baby's ear and measuring his or her response to sound.
If a screening test suggests a problem, your baby's doctor will follow up with further testing. If those tests confirm a problem, the doctor may refer you to a specialist for treatment. Following your doctor's treatment plan can save your baby from lifelong health and developmental problems.
References and abstracts from MEDLINE/PubMed (National Library of Medicine)