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Galactosemia Test

How It Is Done continued...

If the test shows that the baby has galactosemia, the results will be confirmed on a blood sample taken from a vein.

Blood sample from a vein

The health professional drawing your child's blood will:

  • Wrap an elastic band around your child's upper arm to stop the flow of blood. This makes the veins below the band larger so it is easier to put a needle into the vein.
  • Clean the needle site with alcohol.
  • Put the needle into the vein. More than one needle stick may be needed.
  • Attach a tube to the needle to fill it with blood.
  • Remove the band from your child's arm when enough blood is collected.
  • Apply a gauze pad or cotton ball over the needle site as the needle is removed.
  • Apply pressure to the site and then a bandage.

Urine sample

To test for galactose in a urine sample from a baby, a health professional will tape a plastic collection bag to the baby's genital area. After the baby urinates, the collection bag is removed. A blood test for galactose is more accurate than a urine test.

How It Feels

Blood sample from a heel stick

A quick sting or a pinch is usually felt when the lancet punctures the skin. Your baby may have a little discomfort with the skin puncture, but this does not last long.

Blood sample from a vein

Your baby may feel nothing at all from the needle puncture, or he or she may feel a brief sting or pinch as the needle goes through the skin. Some people feel a stinging pain while the needle is in the vein. But many people do not feel any pain (or have only minor discomfort) after the needle is positioned in the vein. The amount of pain you feel depends on the skill of the health professional drawing the blood, the condition of your baby's veins, and your baby's sensitivity to pain.

Urine sample

A baby will usually feel no discomfort from the use of a urine collection bag. But removing the tape that attaches the bag to the skin may cause temporary discomfort.

WebMD Medical Reference from Healthwise

Last Updated: March 12, 2014
This information is not intended to replace the advice of a doctor. Healthwise disclaims any liability for the decisions you make based on this information.

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