Newborn Screening

Monday, October 31, 2011

Recently I attended a 2-day seminar last October 27-28, 2011 at the Grand Men Seng Hotel. This was my first training since I worked at the RHU. Along with fellow doctors, nurses, midwives and medical technologists, I was able to experience it first-hand. Facilitators from the Newborn Screening Center were also there to teach us different techniques and guide us on how to properly do it. Except for the very congested OB ward, everything was great.

Our facilitator, Ms. Clarose Mascardo

Newborn screening has been started since 2004 in the Philippines. But other countries have done this for quite a few years already. I only knew about it when I had my eldest daughter last 2008. That's when I first heard about it. What's so good about it you ask? Basically it tests for the five (5) most common cause of mental retardation among infants. It tests for Congenital Hypothyroidism, Congenital Adrenal Hyperplasia, Phenylketonuria, Galactosemia and Glucose-6-Phosphate Dehydrogenase Deficiency. These illnesses when left unattended would lead to, as I have said, mental retardation and eventually death.

This is why Newborn Screening has been passed into Law and which is now known as the RA 9288.

Why the need for training personnel to do such a simple thing? Although it may look simple, it takes a great deal of practice to collect samples of blood. And it takes a special skill to do a simple task like the newborn screening.

During the presentations of action plans, a few maternity clinic owners have planned to include it in their delivery package. That way most of the delivered infants, if not all, would be screened. As for us in the Rural Healh Units, it would be an entirely different story. We would have to come up with a better way of encouraging parents to avail of the NBS.

Collection Area at the Newborn Screening Center at SPMC

Each test cost only Php600. An increase of Php50 would only be allowed in very far flung areas as suggeted by DOH. They have a copy of places that can add the P50. It has been observed that some maternity clinics and even hospitals have been posting high cost of this test. To ensure proper pricing and monitor the number of cases, DOH personnel have been roaming around the nation checking if everything is being implemented as ordered by DOH.

A sample of Newborn Screening Kit

The training ended well and everyone was excited to get their certificates. I know I was:)

My Sister's Keeper - A Review

Saturday, October 29, 2011

Recently, I attended a two-day seminar for Newborn Screening. During Lunch break, our facilitator decided to show a few videos including this movie. I've seen a trailer of it on HBO. Sure I said to myself that I would like to see it but I never thought I'd be seeing it in a training.

It stars Cameron Diaz who plays a mother to a leukemic child. She wants to do everything to keep her child alive including harvesting her youngest kid's kidney to keep her sick child alive. Now this youngest daughter is looking for medical emancipation. From time to time the movie would give you flashbacks of how it all began and a glimpse of happier times. Overall it was a great movie for me.

It got me thinking, how far would
I go to say my daughter's life? Would I risk one daughter to save another? Would I be emotionally insensitive to what my sick child wants? These are some of the questions that got me thinking after that movie.

If you've seen the movie, maybe you can share your thoughts with me.

My Ameda Experience

Monday, October 17, 2011

Recently, I won a breast pump from Manila Fashion Observer which was sponsored by Babymama. I wanted to have another breast pump after buying my spectra. And the timing was just right. I couldn't wait for it to arrive. I was excited!

When finally it came! I slowly opened the package, examining every parts included. (By the way, this is my third breast pump).

At first glance, it looks kinda weird, having different controls for speed and suction. I was afraid that it might hurt me so I started with the lowest suck, and the slowest speed, working my way to full blast. It wasn't painful at all. In fact, I love it.

This is where I store my Ameda, inside my drawer.

My Ameda in action

It is lightweight and handy. I can carry it anywhere. I tried putting 6 AA batteries. Yes you read it right, six (6) batteries and it felt the same as if it was plugged.

Okay enough with the positive side, let's move on to the negative ones.

First, although it looked like you can put two Ameda bottles, it really doesn't fit the whole bottle. It really doesn't fit at all. It may serve as a stand for the bottles, but even then, your bottles may end up falling instead.

Second, although you can put AA batteries, it would have been better if it had rechargeable batteries like the medela freestyle. It would have been more hassle free.

Third, the adapters are heavy.

Other than that, I'm happy with my Ameda.

Thank you Manila Fashion Observer and Babymama for the wonderful prize!

An Unpleasant Experience at the Church Office

Wednesday, October 5, 2011

Yesterday I had an unpleasant experience at the church. Well not exactly "the" church but their office. You see, my son will be christened on Oct. 7, 2011 here in the province. This is the first time for any of my kids to do it here. Previously we did it in the city. And we were required a Permit for Baptism for our church here in the city. Needless to say, I didn't know that they have schedules for releasing of permits.

The first time I inquired, I called. I asked what the requirements were. I explained that we will be having it here in the province. They told me to visit their office. By afternoon, I went and asked the same question. They told me that I needed to submit a marriage contract, birth certificate and the IDS. The IDS I know since as I have said, this is my third child. What irritated me during that time was the fact that they could have saved me my gas had they told me over the phone the requirements. Was that so hard to say over the phone??!

Hubby and I complied with the IDS. We attended last Saturday's Kasaulugan. We owe one more attendance since new regulations states that we needed to attend two. But our PSK was kind enough to give me the IDS despite the lack of one more attendance.

So yesterday I went again to their office to ask for the permit. I was already pissed off before going there so I was trying my hardest to contain myself. It was obvious that they just arrived since the lady behind the desk was putting her lotions,. Her perfume and baon were still on the table. Her bag was still in the table. I stood there for a couple of minutes, the lady talking to me at one time then talking to her peers while putting her lotion, then talking to me again.

Then she asked for the requirements which I handed to her with a smile. And then she told me, "By the way, releasing is only done on Wednesdays." This pissed me off more. She asked me about returning to the province. I told her that I was on my way and that I was just waiting for the permit. She had talked about asking for the nuns approval before releasing, that the nun would still have to talk to me and all that.

I was having enough of the bull crap that I just had to give her a piece of my mind, while holding back my anger of course. I complained about not being told about the schedules having been there several times. That none of them have said about it, about having been told to visit the office and was entertained for only a few seconds, and that missing my work to get the permit only to be told that releasing was on Wednesdays, had they said about that I could have scheduled my absences. After this, they told me to return at 10 o'clock.

When I got to the car, I cried. I was so furious at them that I had to cry to release my anger. I don't know why some people chose to change religions but maybe this was one of the reasons. I don't know why we have so many requirements. Shouldn't they be happy that we want to have our kid baptized in the church.

One of the other ladies kept asking me if we were married in the church which I kept saying yes!

By the time I got back, the lady was already preparing my permit. Thank goodness!

My point in all that had happened is this: it would have saved everybody the trouble had they only informed me of the schedules and the requirements. Me, being not active in church affairs, have limited knowledge in the on-goings. I don't think it would take much of their time to inform and discuss the details. In fact, it is their job to inform the public and not just type all those papers. Asking for requirements doesn't make the public aware of all the on-goings. But if they could have explained for a few minutes, it would have been best for all of us.