Remembering why we screen – early identification is the key to optimizing a baby’s future.

Though hundreds of thousands of babies are born perfectly healthy some are born with certain health conditions. Newborn screening is in place to identify those babies. Every year, more than 12,000 newborns are affected by diseases and disorders identified through blood spot screening. Congenital Heart Disease (CHD) is the most common and deadly of all birth defects and affects about 40,000 newborns per year. Approximately 25 percent of these cases are considered to be “Critical” Congenital Heart Disease (CCHD), particularly hard to detect in the newborn period. One to six in every 1000 babies are born with permanent hearing loss1. All these disorders are invisible to the medical staff and families and occur in babies who look completely healthy.

There are three main types of newborn screening:

Blood Test
A small sample of blood is collected through a “heel stick” shortly after birth to test for a variety of metabolic and genetic conditions.

Hearing Screen
While the baby sleeps the auditory system can be screened to determine if it is functioning properly. Hearing screening is performed using one of two types of technologies; auditory brainstem or otoacoustic emissions. Sounds are presented to the baby and the physiologic auditory response is analyzed.

Pulse Oximetry Testing
This non-invasive test uses a device called a pulse oximeter to measure how much oxygen is in a baby’s bloodstream, which can indicate the presence of a Critical Congenital Heart Disease.

To learn more about all these screening types please see http://babysfirsttest.org/newborn-screening/screening-procedures.

The facts show why newborn screening is an essential public health program2.

  • The federal government recommends 34 core conditions and 26 secondary conditions for which each newborn should be screened.
  • Most states screen for at least 29 conditions.
  • 1 out of every 300 babies has a condition that is detectable through newborn screening.
  • 4 million babies are born and screened each year in the United States.
  • That’s 12,000 babies who potentially received a critical medical intervention for their condition because of a screen.

When quality newborn screening programs are implemented babies lives are saved and their quality of life is improved enabling children to reach their full potential.

OZ Systems is the only company offering solutions for all mandated newborn screenings. In our world, saving the newest lives comes first. OZ Systems’ Solutions increase patient safety and reduce risks through:

  • Identifying babies who need care
  • Capturing results from screening devices, eliminating manual data entry
  • Creating worklists for babies needing further care and assessment
  • Automated data sharing between hospitals, laboratories, providers and public health administrators

With all newborn screenings, there is a critical window of opportunity to change a baby’s future and prevent life-lasting disability or death. OZ Systems creates solutions to provide care within that window of opportunity and is committed to improving the newborn screening process. Our technology enhances the ease and accuracy of testing, to ensure that all newborns are given the best opportunity at a healthy life.

[1]. https://www.asha.org/public/hearing/Prevalence-and-Incidence-of-Hearing-Loss-in-Children/ 
[2]. http://babysfirsttest.org/