For more than 50 years, the State of Kansas and Newman Regional Health have been screening newborns as a way to identify babies who may have serious medical conditions before symptoms appear.
According to Heather Aylward, Director of the Women’s Life Center at Newman Regional Health, “These conditions may not be visible at birth but can be treatable if diagnosed early. Early treatment of these conditions can prevent more serious illness, disability or death.”
The Kansas Department of Health and Environment states, “Unless these diseases are identified and treated early, they can cause severe illness, developmental disability, or in some cases death. To test for these diseases, about 24 hours after birth, a baby’s heel is pricked and a small sample of blood is collected by the hospital staff. This blood is then sent to the State public health laboratory where it is tested for several different diseases.”
The blood is tested for more than 30 disorders, diseases or conditions. If the screening results are normal, as they are in most cases, no further procedures or testing is required. If a newborn is identified as having an abnormal result, they undergo further testing to confirm the initial result and then a protocol is followed to provide treatment. The follow-up procedures include taking a new blood sample from the baby to confirm the initial test result, and referring the newborn for diagnostic testing and/or examination by a specialist.
In addition to the blood test, hearing, oxygen levels in the baby’s blood, and heart health are examined. The team at The Women’s Life Center at Newman Regional Health performs Newborn Screening on every baby born. Their highly trained medical professionals help with follow-up, diagnosis, management, and education.
Download a brochure on the Newborn Screening Program – Click HERE
For a list of conditions that Newman Regional Health screens for, visit babysfirsttest.org – Click HERE
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