Newborn screening tests are tests applied to identify some diseases that can be treated when detected. These diseases, which do not show symptoms in the first months of life, can cause serious damage to the baby if they are not recognized beforehand. Once diagnosed, preventive treatment can be applied and a full recovery can be achieved. In the Newborn Service, blood screening and hearing tests are performed for each newborn.
” Hypothyroidism ” and ” Phenylketonuria ” screening tests are blood tests routinely applied to every baby. Hypothyroidism is a deficiency of thyroid hormones. In this case, TSH rises. Phenylketonuria is the accumulation of an amino acid in the body due to a deficient enzyme in protein digestion. If not diagnosed early, severe mental retardation can occur in both diseases.
Screening tests should be done after the baby has completed 72 hours. If the baby was born with a normal delivery and will be discharged in a day or two, a blood sample is taken during the control examination in the first week. A few drops of blood taken from the heel is sufficient for these tests. Test results will be available in a week or two.
newborn hearing screening
Babies hear from the moment they are born. In the hearing scan, the waves created in the brain by the sounds given to the ear are measured by the electrodes placed on the baby’s forehead and behind the ear. Hearing loss in infants can be detected at the earliest 18 months, with the observation of the family, without screening. However, when hearing loss is recognized in the first six months, hearing and speaking abilities with hearing aids develop close to normal. Therefore, early recognition of hearing-impaired babies is important.
If your baby does not pass the hearing screening, a control hearing test is performed in the neonatal ward one month later. Even with the best devices, 4 out of 100 babies fail the test. However, when the test is repeated, this rate drops to 3-4 per 1000 babies.