The parents of a newborn want to speak with a nurse about the chances of their child developing sickle cell disease, since they both have family histories of the condition. Which information should the nurse provide to this family about testing?

 

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Correct

- Testing is performed automatically as part of the Newborn Screening Program

- The child cannot be tested until she turns 1 year of age

- Most children are not tested unless they demonstrate signs of sickle cell crisis

- Testing is done by assessing white blood cell counts and comparing them to red blood cell counts

Rationale

Sickle cell disease is an inherited condition known as a hemoglobinopathy, in which the red blood cells of the affected person are sickle shaped and do not flow through the bloodstream appropriately. Although these parents are at higher risk because the disease runs in their families, their newborn should be tested anyway as part of the mandated Newborn Screening Program.

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