Newborn Screening (NBS) is a simple procedure to find out if your baby has a congenital metabolic disorder that may lead to mental retardation and even death if left untreated.
Why is it important to have Newborn Screening?
Most babies with metabolic disorders look normal at birth. One will never know that the baby has the disorder until the onset of signs and symptoms and more often ill effects are already irreversible.
When is Newborn Screening done?
Newborn screening is ideally done on the 48th hour or at least 24 hours from birth. Some disorders are not detected if the test is done earlier than 24 hours. The baby must be screened again after 2 weeks for more accurate results.
How is Newborn Screening done?
Newborn screening is a simple procedure. Using the heel prick method, a few drops are taken from the baby's heel and blotted on a special absorbent filter card. The blood is dried for 4 hours and sent to the Newborn Screening Laboratory. (NBS Lab).
Who will collect the sample for Newborn Screening?
A physician, a nurse, a midwife or medical technologist can do the newborn screening.
Where is Newborn Screening Available?
Newborn screening is available in practicing health institutions (hospitals, lying-ins, Rural Health Units and Health Centers). If babies are delivered at home, babies may be brought to the nearest institution offering newborn screening.
When is the Newborn Screening results available?
Newborn screening results are available within three weeks after the NBS Lab receives and tests the samples sent by the institutions. Results are released by NBS Lab to the institutions and are released to your attending birth attendants or physicians. Parents may seek the results from the institutions where samples are collected.
A negative screen mean that the result of the test is normal and the baby is not suffering from any of the disorders being screened.
In case of a positive screen, the NBS nurse coordinator will immediately inform the coordinator of the institution where the sample was collected for recall of patients for confirmatory testing.
What should be done when a baby has a positive newborn screening result?
Babies with positive results should be referred at once to the nearest hospital or specialist for confirmatory test and further management. Should there be no specialist in the area, the NBS secretariat office will assist its attending physician.
Note: This was a community health nursing board question last June. The one that I italicized were the answers to the questions asked. So I advice you guys especially those taking the December exam to be abreast with the new laws affecting the practice of nursing profession in the Philippines.
In regards with the health statistics, try to be familiar still with the 1998 health statistics in your DOH book because this came out last June 2006 board (I was really disappointed because what I knew was already the present health statistics; but thanks God coz I still manage to get 3 out of the 5 questions asked).
Read everything in your DOH book. Answers are based on what really is written there..