Brazilian Natural Medicine

Rapid tests in the first days of life can identify changes in the baby’s health — English (Brazil)

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In Brazil, approximately 3 million children are born each year in more than 4,700 public and private maternity hospitals. Health care begins even during pregnancy, from prenatal care. Medical follow-up makes it possible to identify problems and risks in a timely manner for possible interventions. Soon after birth, weighing, measuring and clinical analysis of the baby continue to promote the child’s health.

Blood is also collected through the umbilical cord. Blood Typing helps to identify risk of blood incompatibility between mother and child. This happens when the mother is RH negative and the baby is RH positive, or when the mother has blood type O and the child has type A or B.

In the first days of life, the baby undergoes a series of tests. Get to know some of the exams available in the Unified Health System, which can detect a series of diseases early, guaranteeing the necessary care for the newborn:

Foot test

It is the collection of drops of blood from the baby’s feet. The exam must be carried out between the 3rd and 5th day of the newborn’s life. Currently, it is possible to identify up to six diseases with the Guthrie Test: phenylketonuria, congenital hypothyroidism, sickle cell syndromes, cystic fibrosis, congenital adrenal hyperplasia and biotinidase deficiency.

ear test

Helps to identify hearing problems early. In the examination, the doctor uses a device to produce sound stimuli and evaluate the internal structures of the baby’s ear.

Eye test

Identifies possible visual impairments early. The pediatrician shines a light into the baby’s eyes with a small device. If the light reflected at the back of the eye is reddish, orange or yellowish, the child’s vision is healthy. However, if the reflected light is whitish or has changes in shape, the child should be referred for a specialized ophthalmological evaluation.

Little Heart Test

It should be performed between 24 and 48 hours after birth, before hospital discharge. The clinical examination consists of measuring the amount of oxygen in the blood and the baby’s heartbeat, using a device called a pulse oximeter. With it, it is possible to identify possible congenital alterations.

tongue test

It identifies early changes in the lingual frenulum, which can restrict tongue movements to different degrees. The frenulum is the membrane that connects the bottom of the tongue to the base of the mouth. Changes can make the breastfeeding process difficult.

Fran Martins
Ministry of Health



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