My research focused on the methods and impacts of maternal and newborn screening at the State Hygienic Laboratory in Coralville, IA. The method for newborn screening is a relatively simple process – a newborn’s blood is collected through a heel stick, and placed onto filter paper to be sent to the State Hygienic Laboratory. Once it reaches the lab, the sample is processed and tested for 29 different conditions that could cause damage to the child later, if not detected and treated early on. The maternal screening process is much more varied. There are many tests that are performed on expectant mothers to determine if their fetus is developing normally, including amniocentesis and ultrasounds. The impact that these tests have on public health is significant. Early detection allows for diseases to be treated in a timely manner, increasing the chance of effective and accurate treatment. Both early and preventative treatment tend to be more cost effective, meaning that prenatal and maternal screening lead to a less expensive bill for both hospitals and tax payers. My research focused on an in-depth examination of the testing process, and the further impacts upon public health.
Celeste Torrence, ’17
Sponsor: Barbara Christie-Pope