The addition of a new member to your family is always an exciting time, especially if it’s your child. However, the excitement can easily be cut short with overwhelming stress and anxiety regarding its health. Screening tests are great tools for analyzing the health of a child. They allow for a chance to identify and resolve any diseases the child may suffer. Considering the ailments are genetic, it is not uncommon to find your child suffering from a medical condition.
· CONGENITAL HYPOTHYROIDISM
The disease has a relatively high frequency, with one in 3000 babies suffering from it. Most often, it is the sole cause of children and their limited mental capacity. The reason for this includes untimely recognition of the ailment. Thus, treatments after the brain of a child have developed to a certain degree are considered useless. Nevertheless, this problem can also bring forth other abnormalities. These can include lackluster growth, hearing issues, neurologic inconsistencies, and mental retardation.
Treating congenital hypothyroidism is relatively straightforward. You can visit the state of the art laboratories’ official website to dig out complete and reliable information. For instance, Primex labs mention how the test procedure works for the infants. In the first few weeks, infants begin to receive thyroid hormones through oral means. Doing so makes it possible for the child to recover around the age of 4-7 fully. Bearing in mind the consistency of the disease, many labs offer the testing service for its identification.
· SICKLE CELL DISEASE
The disease refers to a syndrome that red blood cells share. It is a genetic disease that causes red blood cells to lose form and become sickle-shaped. The newly adopted shape can result in minor blood vessel clogging, making the infant suffer excruciating pain. Due to the severity of the issue, recognition of this disease in its early stages is imperative. Not doing so will likely stem other problems, such as infections, organ and tissue damage, and even the tendency for strokes.
Adequate and timely treatment of the disease will either prevent the problems or reduce the severity, at the very least. Since the disease correlates with oxygen delivery, laboratories can also test for disorders for hemoglobin and thalassemia.
Galactosemia pertains to the deficiency of an enzyme to handle the monosaccharide sugar — galactose. The disease can pose catastrophic problems to the body. It can cause failure to thrive, liver diseases, nausea, and even mental health diseases. Worst-case scenario, if the bacteria E. coli infects the bloodstream, death becomes inevitable.
The most rudimentary means for eliminating the disease is by changing the child’s diet. For starters, you must avoid giving them dairy products, which often shows dramatic results. The diet change itself will likely result in diminishing or causing the disease to disappear entirely.
· AUDITORY BRAIN STEM RESPONSE (ABR)
One of ABR’s most common screening procedures is a test conducted for hearing problems in infants. The test only requires 5-10 minutes for assessing the newborn’s hearing ability. The auditory brain stem is part of a nerve that relays sound signals from the eardrum to your brain. Nevertheless, the test is conducted by inserting small earphones in the child’s ears and playing some sounds. Next, the person conducting the test will hold electrodes next to the baby’s head, monitoring any noticeable fluctuations. The sounds played are at different frequencies and wavelengths, thoroughly evaluating the hearing capabilities.
If the response does fluctuate, the baby does not have any hearing problems. However, if there is no response, a hearing issue may exist. There are several treatments for improving the hearing ability of a child. Incorporating hearing devices, surgeries, and counseling are some great options. An alternate test for a baby’s hearing is the otoacoustic emissions test. Both tests are similar, with a difference in monitoring devices.
· PULSE OXIMETRY
Oxygen is vital for the survival of all living beings. Hence, analyzing the oxygen levels of a newborn is crucial for determining many problems. The test’s objective is to assess the oxygen in the bloodstream using a device called an oximeter. Since oxygen, blood, and the heart go in tandem, an oxygen deficit issue may result in cardiac diseases. Furthermore, the oximeter is a harmless sensor placed anywhere on the baby’s skin. After fixing the sensor, the test takes a few minutes and only applicable for babies exceeding 24 hours.
· PHENYLKETONURIA (PKU)
PKU is a condition where the child lacks an enzyme to process the amino acid phenylalanine. It causes the bloodstream to amass unprocessed phenylalanine, making the child susceptible to numerous problems. While the disease is similar to galactosemia, it targets brain damage quite severely. Professionals treat infants with PKU employing specific dietary plans with reduced levels of phenylalanine.
Moreover, early treatment of the issue can drastically improve the life of the child. Not only will the chances of brain damage significantly diminish, but it will allow the child’s learning capabilities to improve.
It is common for parents to worry about their newborn child. However, many parents tend to exceed the limits unknowingly, causing needless worry and panic. Screening has its benefits, but it also comes with some risks. Additionally, the initial results may not be average. Therefore, it is vital to know that screening is the preamble for extensive diagnosis. It can provide points that the doctor may deem pointless, posing no threat to the child’s health and future. While conducting the initial tests is vital, going beyond testing your child for unnecessary aspects should be avoided. Though, this does not mean you should neglect any recurring symptoms in the next few days.