What is the purpose of the newborn baby blood test?
Newborn baby blood tests are carried out to test for: phenylketonuria, hypothyroidism, and cystic fibrosis.
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A newborn baby blood test, also known as a 'heel prick test' or 'blood spot test', is offered to all newborns shortly after their birth. It is a simple test that is done by taking a few drops of blood from the newborn baby's heel.
A nurse or midwife will perform the newborn baby blood test within the first 72 hours after birth - normally before you leave the hospital with your new baby, or before the midwife leaves your home after a home birth.
Newborn baby blood tests are performed for home births.
to perform a newborn baby blood test, a nurse cleans the heel of your baby, pricks it with a special device and collects a few drops of blood onto a special card. The prick site is then covered.
After the newborn baby blood test, the blood sample is sent to the laboratory, where it will be analysed for the presence of any genetic conditions, such as phenylketonuria, hypothyroidism and cystic fibrosis.
If the results of a newborn baby blood test are positive, you will be contacted and asked to give another blood sample for further testing. It is important to understand that further testing does not mean there is …
The newborn baby blood test is very safe. As with all blood tests, there is a small chance of the prick site becoming infected if it is not cleaned properly.
It is your right to refuse for your baby to be tested. However, it is highly recommended that every newborn has the test.