Newborn neurologic screening using NBAS reflexes.

J. L. Pressler, J. T. Hepworth

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

4 Scopus citations


The neurologic examination of the newborn infant is not easy. The nurse or physician must have technical skill in handling infants and be familiar with eliciting, scoring, and interpreting reflexes. Because it is too costly to conduct full neurologic exams on all newborns, a screening can be performed to help select infants for whom detailed examination is indicated. Given the trend to discharge term newborns within 12 to 24 hours following delivery and the importance of being sure that abnormalities have not been overlooked prior to discharge, completing a neurologic screen during this early time period is warranted. Although professionals have been trained and certified to conduct Neonatal Behavioral Assessment Scale (NBAS) exams for more than 20 years at NBAS Training Centers, the NBAS text does not adequately explain how to perform reflex assessments so they can be administered reliably across multiple examiners. This article describes how to perform these reflex assessments so they can be used consistently by nurses and physicians as a neurologic screen in a variety of settings.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)33-46
Number of pages14
JournalNeonatal network : NN
Issue number6
StatePublished - Sep 1997
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Pediatrics, Perinatology, and Child Health
  • Critical Care
  • Critical Care and Intensive Care Medicine


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