Intended for healthcare professionals


Combining the two neonatal examinations

BMJ 1999; 319 doi: (Published 03 July 1999) Cite this as: BMJ 1999;319:53

In primary care, second examination is useful

  1. Chris Harnden, General practitioner (
  1. Prescott Surgery, Baschurch, Shropshire SY4 2EU
  2. Kirwan Hospital for Women, Townsville, Great Barrier Reef, QLD 4817, Australia
  3. Health Services Research Unit, Aberdeen AB25 2ZD

    EDITOR—The paper by Glazener et al defines neonatal screening in narrow terms.1 In primary care the second neonatal examination is usually performed about 6 weeks after birth. The main purpose of this check is not just screening for medical conditions such as hip and heart anomalies. It is also a good opportunity to screen for postnatal depression; Hearn et al found the incidence of this to be 15% when they used the Edinburgh depression score in primary care.2

    The six week check also provides an excellent insight into the way that the mother interacts with her baby as well as providing an excellent opportunity to give advice about vaccinations and prevention of cot death and accidents. …

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