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Kent Hospital
Kent Hospital

Newborn Tests and Screenings

The following is a list of screenings and treatments performed on all newborns as recommended and required by the Rhode Island Department of Health and the American Academy of Pediatrics. These tests and treatments take place in the hospital prior to discharge. We encourage you to ask any questions to be sure you are comfortable with the procedures.

  • Eye drops or ointment - applied in your baby's eyes immediately after birth to protect the eyes from infection.
  • Vitamin K injection - Given shortly after birth to improve the baby's blood clotting ability. Without Vitamin K, some babies have a tendency to bleed during the first few days of life.
  • Hearing test - The Rhode Island Hearing Assessment Program (RIHAP) provides hearing screening for each infant born at Kent Hospital. This is quick, harmless and non-invasive. Results are reviewed and interpreted by an audiologist. The results are mailed directly to your home. In the event that a test is not normal, you may also receive a phone call recommending a reevaluation of your infant's hearing.
  • Hepatitis B vaccination- Recommended by the American Academy of Pediatrics, the baby's first Hepatitis B vaccination is usually given in the nursery. This vaccination consists of three separate injections given over a period of months. It is important to finish the entire series for complete protection.
  • Newborn Metabolic Screen - All newborns are screened before they leave the hospital for a group of endocrine, metabolic, genetic and hematologic diseases. Using a tiny sample of blood drawn from your baby's heel, these tests are performed at a Rhode Island Department of Health regulated laboratory. Early identification of these disorders allows for early treatment and prevention of more serious illness. The test results are mailed directly to your baby's doctor.

Your baby's primary care physician can provide further information to you. But, please do not hesitate to ask our staff or your doctor to explain the reasons for the tests to your satisfaction.

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