Throughout our lives, from height and weight checks when we’re toddlers, to blood pressure and cholesterol checks each year at annual exams, health screenings inform us, diagnose us, and help us prevent or treat any serious illness as soon as possible.
For your baby, health screenings begin just moments after they are born. In fact, the CDC stated in 2011, “Newborn screening is one of the 10 Greatest Public Health Achievements in the past decade.”
In Connecticut, the CT Newborn Screening Program (NBS) began in 1964 and now includes screenings for more than 60 conditions. By taking a few drops of blood from Baby’s heel in the first 24-48 hours, we can identify these conditions as early as possible, giving your New Canaan health care providers the information we need to intervene quickly, helping your baby with the best 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.
Connecticut newborns get an injection of Vitamin K. This prevents Vitamin K Deficiency Bleeding (VKDB) which occurs when Baby doesn’t have enough Vitamin K to clot blood. Preventing VKDB is easy with a boost of Vitamin K at birth. Your baby will also get their first dose of Hepatitis B vaccine, protecting them from serious viral liver infection.
The process of being born may expose Baby to bacteria that causes serious eye infections. All babies born in Connecticut receive Erythromycin eye ointment after birth.
The healthiest start possible for your newborn is the first priority of Connecticut hospitals and for all of us here at New Canaan Pediatrics. If you are concerned about newborn screenings and testing, we are always happy to answer your questions. Please reply to this email or call our office at 203-972-4250.