Examination of the Newborn Essay

5904 Words Jan 13th, 2013 24 Pages
The purpose of this assignment is to explore the issue surrounding screening and examination of the new born from birth. The article will look at why we perform this examination following birth and will pay particular attention to the examination of the eye. It is documented that the purpose of the first examination of the new born is to confirm normality and to provide reassurance to the parents (MacKeith, 1995, Hall, 1999) and also to identify any apparent physical abnormality (Buston and Durward 2001). However the question that we may wish to consider is ‘what is normal in a neonatal who is undergoing major physiological adaptations to extra uterine life (Blackburn and Loper, 1993) ? How as midwives can we fulfil this expectation of …show more content…
Townsend (2004) suggests that “for most services the timing of discharge dictates the timing of examination, with most services preferring not to do the examination before 6 hours of age”. It could well be argued that if only one examination is being performed, this should be after 24 hours to allow the maximum length of time for ductus close and pulmonary vascular resistance to start to fall, therefore increasing the chances of detecting congenital heart disease (Patton C, 2006). Lock (1999) believes that “earlier examination may lead to earlier discharge, leading to congenital anomalies and feeding presenting in the community”. This may hold cause for concern as any such occurrence would be at a time when health professionals were not around. However in contrast it could be argued that earlier examination may allow abnormalities to be dealt with before symptoms develop and in a planned way without discharge being delayed (Green K, Oddies, 2008). Timing of the examination is an issue with approximately 60% of those who screened positive during the first examination being normal by one week of age (Townsend et al, 2004). Hall and Elliman (2006) suggest that the examination be performed ideally within the first 24 hours of birth and certainly within 72 hours. The examination should of course be repeated between 6 – 8 weeks of age and is usually undertaken by the GP in primary care. The UK National Screening Committee (2008) support these timings as there is not

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