Thursday, October 25, 2012

First screening tests and importance of vitamin k in newborns

Vitamin K injection for newborn: We all need vitamin K to make our blood clot properly so that we will not bleed too easily. Some newborn babies have too little vitamin K.
Although this is rare, it can cause them to bleed dangerously into the brain. To prevent this, your baby should be offered vitamin K. You will be offered an injection of vitamin K for your baby, as this is the most effective way of helping to prevent a rare bleeding disorder (hemorrhagic disease of the newborn).
If you prefer that your baby doesn’t have an injection, oral doses of vitamin K are available. Further doses will be necessary.
Newborn hearing screening
A small number of babies are born with hearing loss. Your baby will be given a quick and simple test to check their hearing. Finding out about hearing loss early means that babies and parents can get the support they need. This can help the development of the child’s language and social skills.
Newborn heel prick test   
When your baby is between five and eight days old, your midwife will ask to take a sample of blood from their heel. This is used to test for rare but potentially serious illnesses. All babies are tested for phenylketonuria (PKU – a metabolic disorder), cystic fibrosis, sickle cell disorders and congenital hypothyroidism (CHT – low thyroid hormone). Some babies are also tested for MCADD, an inherited problem with the metabolism.

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