ABSTRACT

A comprehensive clinical examination is performed on all babies, usually within the first 72 hours of life. It consists of a full physical assessment to reassure parents that their baby is healthy, is fully developed and has no abnormalities. The examination is part of a range of post-birth screening opportunities, which also include a midwife check immediately after birth; hearing testing; neonatal blood spot; and a further physical examination at 6 to 8 weeks of age. In this chapter we will consider the role of the examination as a screening tool, its effectiveness and the competence of practitioners.