Screening Tests for Newborns

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Not everyone in this age group may need screening for every condition listed here. Click on the links above to read more about each condition and to determine if screening may be appropriate for you or your family member. You should discuss screening options with your health care practitioner.

Sickle Cell Disorders

About 1 in 2,500 babies born in the UK has a sickle cell disorder (SCD). These are inherited disorders that affect the red blood cells. If a baby has a sickle cell disorder, their red blood cells can change to a sickle shape and become stuck in the small blood vessels. The screening test looks at the types of haemoglobin in the baby’s blood. SCD can cause pain and damage to the baby’s body, serious infection, or even death. Screening means that babies with SCD can receive early treatment, including immunisations and antibiotics, which, along with parent education, will help prevent serious illness and allow the child to live a healthier life.