(KUTV) Karen Roylance, registered nurse with the Utah Department of Healthcare talked about newborn blood screenings -- or Heelstick screenings.
Newborn heelstick screening is a special blood test collected on all babies born in Utah.
Utah has over 50,000 births every year. NBS identifies common, 1 in 3,000 to rare 1 in 50,000 disorders that are all treatable when identified before a health crisis.
Many of our disorders are not noticeable by looking at your baby. It is not until a poor outcome or it's too late for treatment do you know something is wrong.
In Utah, we collect two NBS. The first screen is collected between 24-48 hours. This first check is the "window of opportunity" we will not see that baby's system in this state again. The first screen checks for serious, life threatening disorders that once baby starts eating and doing well, may not show up on the screening results.
The second screen is collected between 7 and 28 days of life to check for disorders that mother's hormones protect the first week of life and after one week of age, baby is in their own. That's when we can identify other disorders that may not be life threatening, yet cause permanent disability or delays if not identified in the newborn period.
Utah Law requires NBS to protect babies. When a child has a disorder that could have been identified by newborn screening the cost of early intervention, extended hospitalization and Medicaid and health care dollars spent instead of the small cost of newborn screening. The cost of losing a baby to a disorder that could have been prevented is tragic.
Newborn screening identifies disorders that years ago, we could not. Healthcare changes and improves. We have heard of children on the soccer field or basketball court and now understand they had a disorder that we can identify on the newborn screen.