More parents opt for vital screening of newborns

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More parents than ever before in the Greater Glasgow area are taking up the offer of vital screening for their newborn babies.

New figures reveal that 97.1 per cent of parents chose to have their child’s hearing tested prior to discharge from hospital which helps to detect impairments.

And 98.3 per cent chose to allow their child to have a blood spot test which screens for five diseases including cystic fibrosis and sickle cell disease.

Consultant in Public Health Medicine, Emilia Crighton, said: “Newborn screening is vitally important. It allows us to identify any problems very early on and begin treatments or put in place supports immediately.

“We understand that parents want the very best for their new baby and its extremely encouraging that so many are choosing to have these screening tests.

“Being a new parent can be difficult in itself but if there is a health issue which we can identify early on it means that our staff can start to put in place helps and treatment if appropriate.”

The blood spot test is usually performed before the baby is five days old and helps to identify conditions which affect growth and development.

The newborn hearing screening test helps to identify any mild to serious hearing problems.

Mrs Crighton added: “We would want to reassure parents that early detection is a good thing. Ideally we are aiming to ensure that every baby born in NHS Greater Glasgow and Clyde undergoes these tests to ensure that help and support are provided to those who need it.”