Dr Meenakshi Bhat, in an interview with us, tells about when any parent must think about newborn screening and where they can get it done. It is important that every family expecting a baby cares to understand why getting their to be newborn should be screened for, when it should be screened for and what all can it be screened for.
After a baby is screened, the baby can be negative to all the tests or rarely positive to one of them. So if your baby is tested positive to one of the tests, how do you go about it? Is there a protocol or direction that parents can take, to attend to the needs of the baby? Ideally, once a baby is tested positive, a confirmatory diagnostic test is done to double check the screening test results. If the diagnostic test again turns positive, the baby is put under immediate treatment or management for the disorder. Dr Meenakshi Bhat quotes a couple of examples about how a positive tested baby is managed for that particular disorder.
While this is how a baby is typically managed, it raises the need for supporting infrastructure, a collaboration of genetic counsellors with gynaecologists, general awareness in people and many more factors that still need to be put into action. Dr Rohit Cariappa is very optimistic about it. He sees that in the near future in about 10 to 15 years, India will be equipped to screen and follow up on every baby that is tested positive during the newborn screening routine.