When a baby is about five days old, a midwife will collect a sample of blood by pricking the baby’s heel.
The card is sent off for analysis and parents receive the results of the blood spot test within a couple of months.
- Sickle cell disease: an inherited blood disorder. Treating babies will help prevent serious illness.
- Cystic fibrosis: a life-limiting inherited disorder that affects the internal organs, especially the lungs and digestive system.
- Phenylketonuria (PKU): a very rare condition that can cause mental disability (but is treatable once diagnosed).
- Congenital hypothyroidism: another rare condition that can lead to impaired growth and mental development. Treated babies can develop normally.
- Medium-chain acyl Co-A dehydrogenase deficiency (MCADD): a rare, but potentially life-threatening inherited disorder, where fat cannot be broken down by the body as well as usual.*
*Babies with MCADD develop normally, but recognising the condition early enables parents to make sure they eat regularly and avoid serious illness.
More top news
A manhunt for a suspected fugitive gunman has ended after he handed himself in to police.
Ben Mee has picked up six player of the year awards at Burnley this season and is focused on the club's return to the Premier League.
The company has adapted its range to create two polishes based on the spices used for their chicken recipes.