Newborn Screenings and Procedures

Roper St. Francis Healthcare provides a range of health screenings and procedures to make sure your little one has a healthy start to life. We make sure to complete these important tests and procedures shortly after your baby is born.

Most of these tests and procedures are pain-free. If you have any questions or concerns about our newborn screenings, don’t hesitate to talk to your doctor or care team.

newborn feet

Routine screenings & procedures

Many newborns complete these screenings and procedures without any problems. We will be sure to explain the results in detail and refer you for any follow-up care if needed.

The screenings and preventive care we give newborns include:

Eye prophylaxis
Eye drops or ointment containing an antibiotic medication are placed in a newborn's eyes after birth. This ointment helps protect the eyes from infection. Any swelling from this ointment usually goes down in a day or two.

Hearing screening
We will test your baby’s hearing with an otoacoustic emissions test (OAE). The test is safe, quick and painless. In fact, most infants sleep through the screening.

Transcutaneous bilirubin test
This test checks for jaundice. Jaundice is a common condition that causes the skin and whites of the eyes to yellow. It is caused by too much bilirubin in the baby’s red blood cells. During the test, your doctor will put a meter on your child’s skin to measure bilirubin levels.

Vitamin K injection
Shortly after birth, your care team will give your baby a Vitamin K injection. Vitamin K helps with blood clotting. Your baby needs this injection because most newborns do not have their own source of vitamin K for a few days after birth.

Hepatitis B vaccine
With your permission, the first of three doses of the hepatitis B vaccine will be given to your baby before you leave the hospital.

Metabolic screening
Your care team will run blood tests to check if your baby has any developmental, genetic or metabolic conditions. The blood is taken with a small prick from your baby’s heel.

Congenital heart defect testing
Your care team will check for heart defects using special sensors on the hands and feet. These sensors measure blood oxygen level and pulse.

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