False Positives of New Born Screening: Here’s What Every Parent Must Know

False Positives of New Born Screening: Here's What Every Parent Must Know

Newborn screening is clinically testing babies after birth. They can look healthy and happy post-delivery yet have underlying complications. So, a blood test is done to identify treatable conditions which are not evident during the infant stage. The best pediatrician in Hyderabad will check for metabolic conditions, haemoglobin problems, cystic fibrosis, hormone-related issues, hearing loss, heart problems, galactosemia and rare genetic diseases. Treatments will usually begin shortly since a weak baby immune system might turn a mild issue into a life-threatening one. Doctors call for additional exams to confirm or rule out risks.

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Any child with an ‘out-of-range’ screening report is considered healthy. If the follow-up test result is within the normal range, it is called a ‘false positive.’ In simple terms, the child does not have a condition that showed up in the test.

False Positive: Why Does it Happen?

There are plenty of reasons behind this phenomenon. This is because the newborn screening will evaluate multiple levels of substances in the child’s blood. A case of false-positive might leave the parents feeling all distressed and scared. Fret not. Take a look at why the results might not be accurately interpreted. Knowing in detail will help you request another examination in case of doubts:

  • The baby has not eaten enough food before the test.
  • The baby does not meet the age criteria or exceed the age for a particular disease
  • Samples taken has been exposed to light and heat
  • Cross-contamination among baby specimens in the lab.
  • The samples were infected by external factors.

Early testing is one of the most common causes of false positives. This might happen if the baby’s nasopharynx or nares are infected by SARS-CoV-2 RNA from the mother’s fluids.

A false report can lead to extra parental care and concern. Hospitalizations, unnecessary medications and treatments become common due to fear of vulnerability. But false-positives in newborn screening is rare when done at the leading child and maternity hospitals in India. The doctors provide the highest standard of care and medical excellence for every infant which minimizes the chances of errors. Each patient is monitored carefully through highly qualified medical staff and advanced technologies for the best results.

When Do You Receive the Reports?

Parents can see the test results within 5-7 days after sample collection or before. The doctor will discuss it in detail with you. A second test will be suggested if the number of T-cells in the blood is abnormal. Further examinations are performed if the cells are low in number. This means the neonate might be suffering from SCID. Another definitive testing is done to confirm the condition and suggest treatment options.

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Doctors will refer the baby to numerous tests in case of positive results. If the reports are true, the child will have to be under diet restrictions, pills and supplements and monitoring. Or else, they can be deemed perfectly fine in case the second reports are negative. Make sure the tests are being performed at least 24 hours after birth. This can increase the accuracy and reduce the chances of missing out on potential issues in the newborn.

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