tests after birth newborn blood screening

Heel Prick Test

This is performed on all new babies. It is a screening that detects five rare serious disorders, all of which can be treated successfully if picked up quickly after birth.

The process involves taking a sample of blood from the baby’s heel. The timing of the sample is critical, usually on day four if the baby is bottle fed and day 5 if breast fed. It can be carried out by your public health nurse or in your hospital.

Once collected, the blood is then sent to a central screening centre where it is tested immediately. If there are any abnormalities, your hospital and GP will be contacted urgently so the treatment can begin immediately.