Detecting preventable health problems in newborns

Detecting preventable health problems in newborns

A new video is now available aimed at newborn bloodspot screening staff in maternity services and explains what happens at the laboratory when the samples are received.

An inaugural forum on newborn bloodspot screening in Victoria was held in June where the video was screened for the first time. The video provides an overview of the Victorian newborn bloodspot screening laboratory and reiterates the importance of this program for newborn health. Take a virtual tour of the Victorian newborn bloodspot screening laboratory here.

The first 1,000 days in a person’s life is one of the most critical life stages. It commences with conception and ends when the child is two years old.

The Newborn Bloodspot Screening National Policy Framework (NBS Framework) was endorsed by Australian Health Ministers Advisory Council on 8 December 2017 and provides national policy guidance on the elements needed to support the ongoing success of NBS in Australia.

In Victoria, the Newborn Bloodspot Screening Program commenced 52 years ago. It facilitates a best start in life, identifying babies at risk of having rare, but serious medical conditions that can affect normal development. Blood from a newborn is collected by a heel prick within a few days of birth. Timeliness in collecting the blood sample and dispatching it to the laboratory are critical for achieving the best health outcomes.

The Victorian newborn bloodspot screening laboratory at Victorian Clinical Generics Services, located in the Royal Children’s Hospital, is the only laboratory which assesses these blood samples in Victoria. All babies born in Victoria are eligible for this free screening.

View the Newborn bloodspot screening video here.

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