How Is Newborn Screening Done?

The three main parts of newborn screening are,

1. Blood Tests- Most newborn screening is done with a blood test to check for rare serious health issues. A health care provider pricks the baby’s heel to get a few drops of blood. He collects the blood on the special paper and sends it to the laboratory for testing.

2. Heart Screening - This test is done to check babies for a group of heart conditions called critical congenital heart defects. It is done using a pulse oximetry. Pulse oximetry checks the amount of oxygen present in the baby’s blood using a pulse oximetry machine and sensors placed on the baby’s skin.

3. Hearing Screening - This test is done to check hearing loss in babies. For this test, the health care provider places tiny earphones in the ears of the baby and uses special computers to check how the baby responds to sound.