Know what screening tests are available for kids and how they help in disease detection
Kids are more susceptible to diseases than adults and often need common tests to know the actual cause of illness. Medical tests are usually essential in order to have a more precise idea about the inherent health condition of a child. Here are some most common tests that can provide evidence for correct diagnosis of diseases.
Blood tests are required for several reasons and each reason entails a difference in testing process. However, the blood drawing method is same for all causes and is done in two ways –
a) Using a small prick at the tip of a finger that draws a couple of drops of blood and
b) Drawing blood with a syringe when more blood is required.
Some common blood tests are:
Medical tests help in early detection of illnesses which gives a better scope for successful treatment
Millions of children die due to misdiagnosis. So, medical tests need to be conducted under high precision, leaving no scope error.
- Complete Blood Count (CBC) Test: The most common kind of blood test is Blood Count test performed in order to find out the count of various elements in the blood such as hemoglobin, white blood corpuscles and platelets.
- Blood culture tests: these tests are used to detect infections in the body and are mainly used during fevers or UTIs
- Lead Test: Lead test is conducted to detect traces of lead poisoning in the body.
- Liver function tests: These are blood tests that are performed in order to assess liver damage.
- Blood Chemistry Tests: these are done to detect the levels of electrolytes in the body; done mainly to rule out kidney, or other organ damage.
X-rays and scanning
X-rays and scanning are necessary to know the exact state of different health issues such as musculoskeletal problems. These tests give a photograph of the internal organs.
Common scanning are:
- Ultrasounds: Ultrasound waves are used to obtain pictures of internal body organs. This is the most common test that is conducted on pregnant women in order to detect formation of the baby in the womb. These scans are also used to detect ingested objects etc in kids.
- CT Scan (computed tomography): This is an imaging procedure that provides cross sectional pictures of internal organs and are obtained by passing X ray beams through the body.
- Gastrointestinal scan: The scan obtains images of the upper gastrointestinal tract such as stomach, ***duodenum*** and ***oesophagus*** with the help of radio waves.
- MRI scan (magnetic resonance imaging): It is a technique in which strong magnets along with radio wave pulses are used to obtain high clarity images of the body.
- VCUG (voiding cystourethrogram): The scanning procedure helps in studying the function of renal system when a child is urinating.
Urine and stool tests
Urine and stool tests are very common and the most convenient for children. These tests are necessary in order to diagnose problems related to digestive and excretory systems. Various other health indicators such as sugar levels and enzyme function can also be detected with these tests.
Besides these tests, several other tests are conducted to diagnose diseases related to different parts of the body.
- Lumbar puncture test: ***Cerebrospinal fluid*** is extracted from the spine in order to diagnose problems such as ***meningitis*** in the cranium. It also helps in providing relief from intracranial pressure.
- Throat Culture Strep Tests: These are conducted to test the microorganisms responsible for causing throat infections.
- Multiple marker tests: These tests help in diagnosing conditions such as ***Down’s syndrome*** and defects in formation of body organs in the baby. The test is conducted through blood test of pregnant women.
- Bilirubin Test: It helps detect jaundice
- Hearing Screen test: this is necessary in order to test hearing ability in children
Tests can be scary for children since they involve large equipments, insertion of catheters, use of needles and syringes and swallowing uncomfortable things. So, a child needs to be prepared mentally and emotionally before being put through these tests.