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FAQ Frequently asked questions
What is the newborn baby blood test?
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.
When is the newborn baby blood test performed?
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.
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.
How is the newborn baby blood test performed?
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.
What happens after the newborn baby blood test?
After the newborn baby blood test, the blood sample is sent to the laboratory, where it will be analyzed for the presence of any genetic conditions, such as phenylketonuria, hypothyroidism and cystic fibrosis.
What happens if the result of a newborn baby blood test is positive?
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 …
Is the newborn baby blood test dangerous?
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.
Can I refuse to have the test?
It is your right to refuse for your baby to be tested. However, it is highly recommended that every newborn has the test.
About this article
Author: Dr Idan Ben-Barak PhD, MSc, BSc (Med)
First answered: 27 Oct 2014
Last reviewed: 19 May 2018
Rating: 4.4 out of 5
Votes: 126 (Click smiley face below left to rate)
Category: Newborn baby blood test