Why is newborn screening so important and why should every baby have it?
Newborn screening can save babies’ lives and help them begin life healthy. Finding a disorder by newborn screening and treating the baby right away is the key to preventing health problems and even death. Affected babies may look perfectly normal at birth. Unless newborn screening is done, the disorder may stay hidden and cause permanent damage to the baby.
When does newborn screening happen?
A few drops of blood will be collected from your baby’s heel on the 2nd or 3rd day of life, and send to the Newborn Screening Center in Vienna.The blood will be immediately analyzed with certain high sensitive diagnostics for several disorders.
What are the disorders tested for by the Newborn Screening Program?
We have provided you information on disorders screening in the section "Disorders".
What happens if the result is positive?
If your baby has a positive newborn screen, your baby’s doctor or the hospital will call you and explain what the next steps are. A first test result does not mean that your baby is affected! Usually, a second test must be done to know if the baby has the disorder.Sometimes the screening has to be repeated in terms of inadequate blood sampling.
How are the disorders treated?
Babies who have a disorder identified by newborn screening often need special treatment immediately. Sometimes this means taking medication or staying on a special diet. Each disorder is different. Some are treated with a special diet and others with medicine. If treated early, many babies grow up to lead a normal, healthy life. Early diagnosis and treatment will allow your baby the best chance of normal growth and development.