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Newborn Screening…What’s the Meaning?

In 1968 the state of Tennessee started it’s state newborn screening program. It was designed to screen infants shortly after birth that may have a treatable condition that is not immediately recognizable. The current program consists of three parts :

*A blood sample that screens for inherited conditions that are treatable if identified early

*A hearing screen to be conducted prior to discharge to help identify congenital hearing loss

*The Critical Congenital Heart Disease (CCHD) screen that is conducted through a simple oxygen reading while in the newborn nursery

These three simple tests allow for early detection for a wide range of treatable conditions. These tests will routinely be performed in the newborn nursery and the results of these tests will be made available to you as they are completed. The genetic blood screen is sent to the state lab so those results are usually not available until after you are discharged home from the hospital. Your pediatrician will be able to access those results for you. More information can be found here.

Additionally, one of our own KPA families has worked tirelessly to see that Krabbe’s disease was listed on the newborn screen through an act known as the Mabry Kate Webb Act in 2015. To read more of the Webb family story visit Facebook.