How The Neonatal Newborn Examination Sits Within Paediatric/ Maternal Health Screening?

How The Neonatal Newborn Examination Sits Within Paediatric/ Maternal Health Screening? Essay example
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The aim of new born screening is to ensure the healthy status of a baby and detect any serious genetic, neurological, otological or physical abnormalities as soon as possible. Blood tests are performed by authorized medical personnel to detect any inherited disorders for instance cystic fibrosis or sickle cell disease.


New-born screening routines originated from the efforts of scientists to prevent an inherited metabolic disorder called phenylketonuria. Dr. Robert Guthrie was the first person who came up with a proper screening test for new-borns to detect this inborn metabolic error. This test because of its affectivity was immediately accepted by the public health centres in UK and USA (Dave & Das 2010). It gave some false positive results in some babies, and although they were healthy they were put on a phenylalanine free diet, which caused growth retardation in them. However, this breakthrough measure by Guthrie led to new researches and studies in screening tests for other inherited genetic disorders (Crowe 2008).
The Guthrie test comprised of pricking a baby’s heel at second day after birth. This test was not as popular in UK as in USA until the 1970s. The test detected high serum levels of phenylalanine due the deficiency of the enzyme required for its conversion. In 1968, a set of rules and regulations were put forward by the World Health Organization (WHO) for a successful and effectual new born screening program. Wilson and Junger put forward a criterion that was supposed to be followed by before carrying out a new born screening program (Crowe 2008).These guideline principles were named as “Principles and Practices of Screening for Disease”. ...
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