Monday, 05 January 2015
Newborn heel-prick test to test for more
All mums are familiar with the heel-prick test for their newborns, where their newborn's heel is pricked and the blood is used to test for diseases such as Cystic fibrosis and sickle cell disease.
This new year, newborn babies across England will also be screened for four rarer conditions through this test.
Babies currently have the heel-prick test at between five and eight days old which checks for:
Congenital hypothyroidism (CHT),
Sickle cell disease
Medium-chain acyl-CoA dehydrogenase deficiency (MCADD).
The extra conditions which will now also be tested for are:
Maple syrup urine disease
Glutaric acidaemia type 1
These are all inherited conditions where babies have problems breaking down amino acids, the "building blocks" of proteins, and this test can now help identify them earlier.