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Blood and Urine Newborn Screening

Home > Topics > Public health > Newborn Screening > Blood and Urine > Advantages and disadvantages of screening
Blood and Urine Newborn Screening

Advantages and disadvantages of screening

Advantages

Screening makes it possible to detect many diseases at birth, with no risk to the child.

Treatment that begins prior to the appearance of symptoms makes it possible to avoid serious and permanent consequences for the child. For many diseases, early treatment can even enable completely normal development of the child.

In general, a single blood specimen and a single urine specimen will suffice to detect all the target diseases.

Disadvantages

Occasionally, specimens may need to be taken a second time. For blood specimens, this will require a second visit to the hospital for a new heel prick. There is no need for concern, however, since it probably means that the first specimen is just unusable for one reason or another. If so, follow the instructions you receive to have the new specimen taken without delay.

If you receive a call due to an abnormal test result for your child, it is possible that the period of time needed to confirm the disease may take several months. This could be because the variant of the disease is rare or more difficult to diagnose, and naturally, this could be a source of concern for the parents. A special preventive diet or medications may be prescribed in such circumstances but subsequently be abandoned if shown to be unnecessary after further analysis.

Even if treatment begins at an early age, complications of the disease could still arise. If this happens, the doctors will modify your child’s medical care as appropriate to his or her condition.

Despite its high efficacy, screening does have limits. For example, there exists a small chance that your child does have a target disease that went undetected during the screening process. On the other hand, screening may detect other rare diseases not targeted by the test. If this happens to your child, your doctor or the specialized medical centre will provide appropriate care.

 

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