Whether a baby is born in the hospital or at home, doctors encourage parents to schedule a myriad of health screenings within the first two weeks after birth. The variety of screenings that doctors perform on infants can help detect potential health threats to the child, navigating health care teams and parents toward more comprehensive care plans for the newborn. The most common newborn screening tests vary from state to state, but there are some commonalities when it comes to infant health tests across the nation. Learn more about a few of the different types of health screenings for infants ahead.
Critical Congenital Heart Disease
Critical Congenital Heart Disease (CCHD) is a heart abnormality that forms before birth. Symptoms of CCHD range from abnormal heartbeat, skin with a bluish tint, abnormal development, and other issues that may prompt emergency care.
To accurately determine whether a newborn is at risk of CCHD, medical professionals use a noninvasive tool known as the pulse oximeter. The complications of CCHD only emphasize the importance of newborn pulse oximetry screening in hospitals.
Babies with galactosemia struggle to break down the sugar galactose because they lack essential enzymes. They may experience vomiting, liver disease, and other harsh health implications due to the consumption of galactose.
After a doctor identifies galactosemia in a newborn, parents may reduce the risk of their child developing adverse health conditions by avoiding giving their child milk products.
Sickle Cell Disease
Another one of the common different types of health screenings for infants that health care teams perform is a sickle cell disease test. Sickle cell disease is when red blood cells take a sickle shape after releasing oxygen to organs, causing them to get stuck in blood vessels. This causes much pain and potential organ damage in newborns.
Newborns with a biotinidase deficiency lack enough biotin. Infections, seizures, neurodivergence, and hearing loss may result from this genetic disorder. When health care professionals detect a biotinidase deficiency, they can treat the newborn and prevent health defects by supplementing them with extra biotin.