Babies are now tested for 50 disorders shortly after birth with the Newborn Screening process. Director of Washington County Public Health Danielle Pettit-Majewski explains a few drops of blood are taken from the newborn’s heel 24 hours to five days after birth. The test is done across the state of Iowa and mothers who give birth at home can arrange to have medical personnel conduct the test at home.
Pettit-Majewski adds the heel-prick test is conducted so children can be diagnosed early and their diseases can be treated as soon as possible. An early diagnosis of these metabollic syndromes can also help parents get connected with support groups and learn how to take care of their child. Some treatment may be as simple as a specific diet. Parents are only notified of positive results.
To listen to the full interview with Pettit-Majewski click here.