Joyce Miller, Marcella Fontana, Karin Jernlås, Henny Olofsson, Ida Verwijst
Journal of Health Visiting, Vol. 1, Iss. 10, 15 Oct 2013, pp 590 - 596

Newborn screening for life-threatening conditions does not take into account mild or moderate injuries, which can lead to significant problems. The authors aimed to evaluate the need, benefits and risks of a musculoskeletal screen in the newborn. Search strategy was designed to capture peer-reviewed biomedical literature related to birth injury and musculoskeletal assessment of the injuries. Thirty-seven relevant articles were located, most indicating mild to moderate birth injuries. Up to 73% of infants had one or more asymmetry stemming from birth. The evidence suggests that infants may receive musculoskeletal injuries through both traumatic and non-traumatic births. Currently there is no complete screen for musculoskeletal conditions of the newborn in the UK. A musculoskeletal screen may be of benefit to find conditions that might affect discomfort in some positions and pain syndromes of infancy. Furthermore, the musculoskeletal screen can be considered safe for the infant.

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