According to medical experts, the early detection and treatment of congenital hypothyroidism along with proper awareness of the condition can improve the outcomes of the treatment.
BabyShield Celebrates Newborn Screening Awareness Month
Babies bring joy to the family and parents always wish for their good health and happiness. As parents, you may want to do everything to safeguard your child for a healthy future. Even healthy looking babies may experience congenital medical conditions that are often overlooked. It is recommended to test the infants for hidden medical conditions through safe and simple newborn screening (NBS) test. This month is all about spreading the importance and benefits of newborn screening to all the parents-to-be.
Newborn Screening – Baby’s first test for a healthy start
Newborn screening is the most important screening test performed to check newborn babies for the presence of over 50 hidden medical conditions. The screening test can be easily done using a few drops of blood collected by a small heel prick and a small amount of urine sample taken shortly after birth.
The test is usually performed between 48 hours and 72 hours after child birth for best results.
NBS is a safe procedure that checks for over 50 genetic and metabolic conditions which cannot be detected otherwise. Usually, these medical conditions manifest the symptoms slowly even after months, affecting the baby’s normal growth and development. If these conditions are detected early, proper treatment can be provided which will allow the children to lead a normal life.
How is it performed?
Newborn screening is a safe test that involves the following steps:
- After 48 hours of birth, a trained paramedic or a nurse will collect 2 samples from the baby: a few drops of blood on a filter paper through a small prick on the heel and a urine sample by placing another filter paper on the baby’s diaper.
- Both the samples are air-dried and sent to the lab along with filled-in papers for testing.
- The test results can be obtained within 2-3 days of time.
BabyShield’s Newborn Screening
BabyShield is a part of LifeCell – India’s first and most trusted stem cell banking service provider, enjoying the trust of over 1,30,000 parents. BabyShield offers the best newborn screening service through their advanced two-tier screening protocol for babies. Their partnership with global nutrition experts enables them to provide special nutritional supplements for babies diagnosed with certain medical conditions.
Apart from the test, BabyShield also offers treatment and management guidance for infants diagnosed with any medical conditions. BabyShield’s labs are accredited by NABL for best quality standards that ensure safety and accuracy of test results.
Medical Conditions Screened by NBS
There are over 50 medical conditions screened using BabyShield’s newborn screening. They are classified as:
- Blood-related disorders – Medical conditions result due to faulty haemoglobin such as sickle cell anaemia, Thalassemia etc.
- Inborn errors of metabolism – Genetic disorders affecting the metabolism of fat, carbohydrate and proteins in the food such as Galactosemia, Phenylketonuria etc.
- Endocrine disorders – These conditions cause the malfunction of endocrine hormones needed for normal development of the child. Eg. Hypothyroidism
- Other conditions – This include cystic fibrosis, infectious disorders, heart disorders etc.
Some of the common medical conditions observed in newborn screening tests include congenital hypothyroidism (CH), Congenital Adrenal Hyperplasia (CAH), Cystic Fibrosis (CF), Phenylketonuria (PKU), Glucose-6-Phosphate Dehydrogenase Deficiency (G6PD), Galactosemia and Biotinidase deficiency. If these conditions are left untreated, they may have severe impact on the growth and development of the baby. However, most of these conditions can be treated using daily medication and special dietary changes. In most cases, early detection, medication and diet modifications can cease the manifestation of symptoms like intellectual disability, growth deficiency etc.
Importance of Newborn Screening in India
In most countries, newborn screening test is mandatory for newborn infants while only 1% of the babies are registered for newborn screening in India. According to reports, about 1 in 4000 children gets congenital hypothyroidism and over 400 million people are affected by G6PD across the world. These conditions may affect infants even if there is no family history, so it is advisable to screen the babies to ensure their future health.
How is it Beneficial?
Having a newborn screening test for your baby can be beneficial in multiple ways:
- Test results can ensure the health of your baby thereby giving you and your family members some peace of mind.
- Most of these metabolic conditions can be treated with diet modifications and simple medication to avoid the manifestation of symptoms if they are detected early through newborn screening.
- The newborn screening test is simple, reliable and fast as it requires only a few drops of blood and urine sample.
- The cost of the screening test is often very low and affordable. BabyShield offers special offer price for screening tests performed in September.
- The nurse or the paramedic can perform the test even before the mother and the baby leave the hospital after delivery.
Newborn Screening Awareness Month
Every day is a good day for newborn screening but September marks the Newborn Screening Awareness Month all over the world. This month, you can help other mothers-to-be to know the importance and benefits of newborn screening by creating the awareness. Let’s spread the word about newborn screening and ensure a healthy tomorrow for our children.