Shortly after birth, newborns are required to undergo certain medical tests for the purpose of providing in-depth knowledge of a child’s health to enable healthcare providers detect specific treatable but potentially fatal or disability causing conditions in newborns which may not be apparent at birth. This process is known as newborn screening. Early detection of these medical conditions is paramount as it enables doctors to administer treatment to help mitigate the condition. If unchecked early, some of these conditions can irreversible effects on the child and in some cases, death.
What tests are offered There's a United States' federally recommended list of disorders for individual states to screen as part of their state universal newborn screening (NBS) programs known as the Recommended Uniform Screening Panel (RUSP). Although this list exists, disorders newborns are tested for are subject to change and may vary by state.
Also Read: The Fear of Childbirth
Here are the disorders on the RUSP
3-Hydroxy-3-Methylglutaric Aciduria (HMG)
3-Methylcrotonyl-CoA Carboxylase Deficiency (3-MCC)
Argininosuccinic Aciduria (ASA)
Beta-Ketothiolase Deficiency (BKT)
Biotinidase Deficiency (BIOT)
Carnitine Uptake Defect
Carnitine Uptake Defect (CUD)
Citrullinemia, Type I (CIT)
Classic Galactosemia (GALT)
Classic Phenylketonuria (PKU)
Congenital Adrenal Hyperplasia (CAH)
Critical Congenital Heart Disease (CCHD)
Cystic Fibrosis (CF)
Glutaric Acidemia, Type I (GA-1)
Hearing loss (HEAR)
Holocarboxylase Synthetase Deficiency (MCD)
Isovaleric Acidemia (IVA)
Long-Chain L-3 Hydroxyacyl-CoA Dehydrogenase Deficiency (LCHAD)
Maple Syrup Urine Disease (MSUD)
Medium-Chain Acyl-CoA Dehydrogenase Deficiency (MCAD)
Medium/Short-Chain L-3 Hydroxyacyl-CoA Dehydrogenase Deficiency (M/SCHAD)
Methylmalonic Acidemia (Cobalamin Disorders) (Cbl A,B)
Methylmalonic Acidemia (Methymalonyl-CoA Mutase Deficiency) (MUT)
Mucopolysaccharidosis Type-I (MPS I)
Primary Congenital Hypothyroidism (CH)
Propionic Acidemia (PROP)
S, Beta-Thalassemia (Hb S/ßTh)
View the complete list of conditions included in the newborn screening programs for each U.S state and information about each condition on Baby’s First Test
When and how are the tests done?
Usually, the tests are done within 24-48 hours of a child's birth. A few drops of blood is collected from the baby by pricking his/her heel onto a special paper and taken to a lab. The test usually takes between 2-3 weeks. You can ask your doctor how you can receive your result as it differ by labs and hospitals.
Newborn screening is one of the perks of giving birth in the USA as you do not have to request for this often mandatory test, hence you also do not need to cover the cost. If the state you give birth (in this case, Washington DC) does not the specific test you'd like carried out for you child on it's list, you are allowed to request for the specific test(s) you want to be done for your child.
We hope this information has been helpful to you. At Lifecircle, we're dedicated to providing first-class quality service and compassionate support to our international clientele. We partner with the best doctors and medical institutions in the Washington DC area with our mission in mind; making extraordinary healthcare effortlessly available to international communities.