Health Beat: Lifesaving tests for newborns
Updated On: Jan 16 2014 04:40:05 PM CST
Every year, more than four million babies are born in the United States. All of them are screened for certain health conditions, but the tests your baby receives depends on the state in which you live.
Today, baby Gael is happy and healthy, but just hours after he was born, his parents got devastating news.
"It was really hard to hear," said Luvy Rodriquez, Gael’s mom.
"I was just destroyed," said Davis Villegas, Gael's dad.
Gael had a serious congenital heart defect and needed major surgery.
"It was the worst six hours I have ever been through," Davis said.
The operation was a success and Gael's parents feel lucky that a newborn screening test detected the problem before they even left the hospital.
Pulse oximetry takes just a few minutes and is the only screening for heart defects, but tests like this aren't mandatory everywhere. Each state screens for anywhere from four to 30 disorders.
The sickle cell screening detects the blood disorder that occurs in about one in every 500 African American births.
The infant hearing screening is performed in most, but not all states. If yours doesn’t offer it, get your baby screened within three weeks of birth.
The cystic fibrosis screening can help doctors detect and treat lung and nutritional problems sooner.
Also, the toxoplasmosis test detects an infection that can invade the brain, eye and muscle. It affects one in 1,000 babies, but less than a handful of states screen for it.
Baby Gael’s parents are grateful that the newborn test picked up his problem before it was too late.
"Every day that we have him, and every month that he turns one more month we thank God that we have him," Luvy said.
Copyright 2014 WFMZ. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.
Authorities: Man murdered ex-wife, killed himself
PSP to shooter: 'You are a coward;' reward upped to $75,000
State trooper shot in ambush now conscious, talking
Anchor announces on-air he has 6 months to live
Police: Serial shoplifter busted with $1,900 crossbow
Man punches clerk, robs gas station in Allentown
Women rush to struck jogger's aid in Lower Macungie
Officials search for missing girl in Nazareth
'McDonald's baby' reunites with woman who found him
Schuylkill County's Rest Haven Nursing Home officially for sale