Newborn Screening Research Paper

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This essay will be about Newborn screening. Firstly, Newborn Screening is an intervention that was first introduced in 1963. The intervention is used to screen newborn babies shortly after birth, in order to determine possible illnesses that the baby might develop later in its life and cure these illnesses early, even though these possible illnesses may not be clinically evident at the time of screening (2).
All infants in the United States are tested for Phenylketonuria, which is a genetic disorder that causes mental illnesses if these are left untreated. Infants in the US are also tested for a condition known as Congenital Hypothyroidism, a disorder of the thyroid gland, which is located along the front of a human’s windpipe, in the neck
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Nowadays, Tandem mass spectrometry is also often used by doctors when trying to find out, during a drug test, what drugs someone has taken. Tandem mass spectrometry works by separating substances according to their mass. When a drop of an infant’s blood is entered in the Tandem Mass spectrometry machine, all the substances in the infant’s blood separate and start moving around, in which lighter substances will be moving quicker than heavier substances, because of a special chamber located inside the machine that the blood is put in. The substances in the blood also move across a special filter linked to a computer that records which substances are present in the blood. In addition to that, the computer also measures the quantity of a each present substance. The diagram below provides a simple picture of how the process works, but in real life, the intervention of Newborn screening is a lot more complex, yet still as accurate and sensitive as shown in the diagram below. During the intervention, tandem mass spectrometry is able to identify the presence of two different types of substances - Amino acids and acylcarnitines - and will, as explained before, measure how much of each present substance there is, in the blood. Also, this intervention is able to identify over thirty different…show more content…
Another advantage is that the intervention requires only one blood sample, unlike other investigations and interventions where several blood samples are needed in order to identify many illnesses. Newborn screening is also fast, accurate and cheap, which is another one of its great advantages - An intervention costs approximately 78 EUR. On the other hand, newborn screening has very few disadvantages, but one of the few disadvantages that the intervention does have is that despite the high accuracy of newborn screening, there is a very slim chance that an illnesses that the baby might later develop, may not be detected. The intervention may also give some false results, even though newborn screening is regarded as one of the world’s most accurate and precise medical interventions (5) (6). Furthermore, there are no major cases in the history of newborn screening that would suggest that it wouldn’t be a safe

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