The tests vary by state, in the state of Texas the first test takes place within 24- 48 hours after a child is born. The second test is done at the newborn’s pediatric office, 1-2 weeks after birth and the states public laboratory analyses both screenings.
Newborn screening is important because most children appear to be healthy but may have a disorder that can be treated early if it is identified early. Treatment of early identified disorders can prevent growth problems, developmental delays, deafness, blindness, intellectual problems, and possibly even early death.
According to the Texas Health and Human Services, the screenings test for 53 disorders including amino acid disorders, fatty acid disorders, organic acid disorders, endocrine disorders, and hemoglobin disorders in addition to other disorders such as cystic fibrosis (CF).
Amino acid disorders affect a body’s metabolism and result in the inability to make or break down proteins.
Fatty acid disorders result in the body not being able to break down fatty-acids which can cause damage to organs.
Organic acid disorders cause toxic organic acid products to build. The body utilizes amino acids to make proteins to grown and work properly.
Endocrine disorders affect the endocrine system, affecting the way the body produces, stores, and releases hormones that assist in controlling body functions.
Hemoglobin disorders are rare blood conditions. Infants are at higher risk of getting infections. Early treatment can prevent death early in life.