Physical Examination of the Newborn
A complete physical examination of every newborn should be performed within 24 h from birth: although there is not international standard, routine examination is regarded as a good practice in the guidelines for postnatal care.
Aims of the routine neonatal examination are to detect problems arising from maternal or familiar diseases; to confirm or not some conditions suspected during antenatal period; to detect any acute condition requiring urgent diagnosis and therapy; to diagnose congenital problems not already identified at birth; to screen some specific conditions, such as developmental dysplasia of the hip and congenital cataract; and to provide initial health and educational advice for the newborn. In any case, routine examination may be an opportunity for the healthcare provider to discuss with the parents any questions or worries about their baby, to reassure them and to give them appropriate advice.
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