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Newborn screenings help to identify health concerns

There is nothing that a new parent wants to hear more than a medical professional telling them that their new baby is perfectly healthy. While parents might not want to think about it, there are some serious health concerns that can impact a newborn. Babies that are born in hospitals go through a newborn screening process to help identify some medical issues that could be devastating to the baby.

One newborn screening test that every parent should make sure that their baby has is the pulse oximetry test. There is a chance that a newborn could have a heart defect that causes low oxygen levels. The pulse ox screening can help to identify these defects or problems so that the newborn can start getting appropriate medical care right away. This test is done when the baby is 24 hours old and only takes a short period of time, but it can be lifesaving if the baby's oxygen saturation level is low.

Newborns will also have a blood test done when they are 24 to 48 hours old. This is done via a prick on the baby's heel. The blood is smeared onto spots on a paper card. That card is sent to the state laboratory. Parents have to sign a consent for this procedure, so there is an opportunity to learn about what tests are performed on the blood spot card.

When these two important tests aren't done properly, there is a chance that the baby won't receive prompt care for a condition that should have been found. The parents of those babies might decide to seek compensation to help cover the future cost of care and other damages.

Source: Baby's First Test, "Screening Procedures," accessed June 02, 2016

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