Many parents wonder if the Georgia Newborn screening is really necessary. They wonder: What is the risk that my child will have any of these conditions? Do I really want to put my child through the pain of a blood draw this early in life? Do I have to have the test done? What are the signs and effects of the conditions being screened for?
To begin, the test is no longer called the “PKU test” (Phenylketonuria) this is because it is now possible to screen for more than just PKU. The test is now known as the “Georgia Newborn screening”, it is collected the same way as the PKU, (a heel stick usually more than one to fill all those circles) however the test now screens for 29 disorders. The screening includes testing for: 6 amino acid disorders, 2 endocrine disorders, 5 fatty acid oxidation disorders, 3 hemoglobin disorders, 9 organic acid conditions as well as 3 non categorized test (Biotinidase deficiency, classic Galactosemia and Cystic Fibrosis). The risk of your child having one of these conditions varies according to the disorder. The website listed below will allow you to select an information sheet on each individual disorder and read the risk (General and by ethnicity), the long term effects of the condition as well as the treatment, signs and symptoms.
The test is mandated by state law however if you have a religious objection you are allowed to sign an informed refusal form.