When and Why Is Heel Blood Taken in Babies?

Your little one will go through some checkups as soon as it’s born. One of them is the heel blood test.

We have prepared this article for you to answer questions such as why it is necessary to have a heel blood test in babies, which diseases are useful for prevention. Thank you read!

Why is heel blood taken?

The heel blood test is performed to diagnose metabolic or genetic diseases that do not show any symptoms after the baby is born. Thanks to this blood, if the baby has an unpredictable health problem, it is diagnosed early and treatment is started immediately to eliminate the disease.

When is heel blood taken?

Heel blood needs to be taken by the baby’s 3rd or 5th day on earth. Your baby needs to be fed for 24 hours for the test to give accurate results.

How is heel blood taken?

Heel blood collection is done with blood coming out of a small hole in the baby’s heel with the help of a needle. 2-3 drops of blood taken are absorbed into a special paper. There are ring shapes on this paper and these rings are filled with blood. Then, these rings are removed with a stapler and examined in a laboratory environment.

The blood taken is collected in the provincial and district health directorates, sent to the central laboratories in Istanbul or Ankara and evaluated here.

Why is the second heel blood taken in babies?

The first heel blood sample in infants is usually taken while in the hospital within the first 3 days. Then, while you think that this is over, you can be called by your family doctor for the second heel blood test. In such a case, instead of setting up bad scenarios immediately and asking “How many times heel blood is taken in babies?” We are sure you will ask.

But don’t worry, 2nd heel blood does not indicate a problem with the baby. Generally;

  • Not having enough nutrition when the baby’s first blood is taken,
  • Taking blood before 24 hours,
  • Giving your baby antibiotics
  • In cases such as premature birth, the health center may request a repeat of the heel blood to confirm the result.

When will the result of heel blood come out?

The result of heel blood comes out completely in an average of 5 weeks. According to these results, you will be returned from the health center you are connected to. If there is no problem in the values, no information may be given for the result of the heel blood of the health center. If the heel blood is high in babies, a turn is made.

What are the diseases in the heel blood test?

The diseases examined in the heel blood are as follows;

  • Phenylketonuria (intellectual retardation resulting from phenylalanine deficiency),
  • hypothyroidism
  • Galactosemia (Inability to digest milk sugar galactose),
  • Hemoglobinopathies (blood disorders such as sickle cell anemia),
  • MSUD (Maple syrup urine disease),
  • Biotinidase deficiency,
  • Diseases such as cystic fibrosis are diagnosed with a heel blood test.

These are all very important and vital diseases. The only method by which most can be diagnosed is with a heel blood test. Therefore, you should not be afraid that your baby will hurt with maternal instinct and you should not neglect the heel blood test. Otherwise, you may encounter serious problems such as mental retardation and dwarfism.

If your baby’s heel blood values ​​are high, you will be called by the health directorates, informed and directed to appropriate treatments. However, if no information is given, don’t worry, your baby’s values ​​are in good shape.

Is the consent of the family sought to obtain heel blood from babies?

Recently, families saying “I don’t want to give heel blood” have become more frequent. Heel blood is taken in the first days of the baby without any consent under normal conditions. However, with the decision of the Constitutional Court in January 2018, the issue that the baby’s heel blood cannot be taken without the consent of the family came to the fore.

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