Guthrie blood test

Guthrie blood test

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Credit: RON SUTHERLAND/SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY

Caption: MODEL RELEASED. Guthrie test. Leaning over a newborn baby in a cot, a midwife takes a prick of blood from the baby's heel for a Guthrie test. A Guthrie test is carried out to screen babies for a rare genetic disease called phenylketonuria (PKU), which affects about 1 in 16000 people. Victims of PKU suffer from a dangerous accumulation of phen- ylalanine in their blood, which can lead to severe brain damage if not treated. Because phenylalanine is a natural product of protein digestion, babies found to suffer from the condition must be fed a special milk substitute free of phenylalanine. After weaning they are given a very low-protein diet, which they might have to stick to for life.

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Keywords: baby, blood sample, blood sampling, blood test, guthrie, guthrie test, healthy, human body, midwife, midwife and baby, neonatal heel prick, newborn baby, postnatal, test

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