Health board OKs rule changes to speed baby blood tests

Health board OKs rule changes to speed baby blood tests

JONESBORO, AR (KAIT) - The Arkansas Department of Health approved two new rule changes aimed at detecting problems in newborns.

They both effect tests done on newborn babies. When a child is born, the hospital has up to 48 hours to send off a blood sample and run tests on it to determine if the child has any disorders. Now, that requirement has been changed to 24 hours.

Many local parents say they think the expedited process would be beneficial to the children and parents.

"The doctors can notify them and let them know, your child has this, your child has that," Mary Williams said.

She says she's had a positive experience with similar tests run on her daughter.

"They got back with me very fast. They said everything was good with her, she's healthy, nothing is wrong with her," Williams said.

The Department of Health reports those samples are to be collected within 72 hours of a child's birth.

Now, some of those samples can be processed within the county thanks to a program implemented by the Health Department that allows them to be sent to county health departments.

The second rule change includes the addition of a new test that looks for severe immune disorders.

The test is currently awaiting FDA approval.

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