Conditions can be most effectively treated when they are identified early
DEAR MAYO CLINIC: I'm nearing the end of my third pregnancy and curious about what kinds of tests my newborn baby will have once she arrives. My other children had blood taken after they were born, but I never felt comfortable asking what it was for What are the doctors looking for exactly? Are these tests necessary?
ANSWER: The blood taken from your baby after she's born will be examined to find out if she has any of a variety of treatable conditions. This procedure, called newborn screening, is very important because these conditions can be most effectively treated when they are identified early, before symptoms appear.
Baltimore Sun Medical Edge Column, 09/29/09