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Galactosemia Test

How It Is Done continued...

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.

Risks

Heel stick blood sample

There is very little risk of a problem from a heel stick. Your baby may get a small bruise at the puncture site.

Blood sample from a vein

There is very little chance of a problem from having blood drawn from a vein.

  • Your baby may get a small bruise at the puncture site. You can lower the chance of bruising by keeping pressure on the site for several minutes.
  • In rare cases, the vein may become swollen after the blood sample is taken. This problem is called phlebitis. You can use a warm compress several times a day to treat this.

Urine sample

There are no risks linked with a urine test for galactosemia. Removing the tape that holds the bag in place may cause mild skin irritation.

WebMD Medical Reference from Healthwise

Last Updated: November 29, 2012
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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