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Newborn screening

Newborn infant physical examination (NIPE)

Every baby has a thorough physical examination soon after birth by either a midwife or paediatrician, to check their eyes, heart, hips and, in boys, the testicles (testes).
This is to identify babies who may have conditions that need further testing or treatment. Findings of this examination will be discussed with you at the time of the examination.
This examination is carried out within 72 hours of birth and then again at 6 to 8 weeks of age, as some conditions can take a while to develop.


Newborn hearing screening test

One to two babies in every 1,000 are born with permanent hearing loss in one or both ears. The newborn hearing screening is done soon after birth to help identify babies who have permanent hearing loss as early as possible. 


Newborn blood spot (heel prick) test

The newborn blood spot is done when you baby is about five days old and involves taking a small sample of your baby's blood to screen it for 9 rare but serious health conditions including:

  • Sickle cell disease
  • Cystic fibrosis
  • Congenital hypothyroidism
  • 6 inerited metabolic diseases



Further sources of information