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University of Colorado System

Preventative Healthcare for the Newborn Baby

University of Colorado System via Coursera


In this course, you will learn some medical interventions and skills to keep newborns healthy in the days and weeks after they have been born. We’ll tell you about medicines like Vitamin K and erythromycin and how they can prevent serious illnesses. We’ll also introduce screening tests like hearing screening and newborn blood screening that help to make sure that babies are set up for success right from the start. But we will start off by talking about jaundice, looking at the simple ways to identify and treat this common presentation and prevent any harm to babies.

A newborn baby is an amazing beautiful life filled with hope. There is so much that goes into making sure that babies are born healthy, and so much more to think about after they are born. Whether you are in the health care field, or even a parent, this course is the perfect educational opportunity for you to keep newborn babies healthy in the days and weeks after they are born!


  • Jaundice
    • Let’s start off talking about a common problem that can be easily identified and treated in newborns. And that is hyperbilirubinemia, which we see as jaundice, or yellow skin, in newborn babies. In this module, we’ll teach you how jaundice occurs and the skills needed to identify hyperbilirubinemia. We’ll finish by telling you the steps to take to lessen the chances of permanent brain damage caused by hyperbilirubinemia, which is called kernicterus.
  • Hearing and Screening
    • This module introduces you to the world of hearing and hearing loss, particularly in children. You will learn how hearing loss is classified, causes of hearing loss, implications of hearing loss, and why it is important to treat childhood hearing loss as soon as possible. We will explore the systems in place for identifying childhood hearing loss as early as possible, as well as the treatments available once it is detected.
  • Newborn screening
    • Everyone enjoys caring for newborns; they are adorable. There is a little more to newborn care than cuteness, though. Our job as clinicians caring for the newly born is to examine them carefully for illnesses that are not readily apparent. One important way in which we do this is with newborn screening tests. In this module, you will learn about the blood spot test. We will go over general concepts and give examples of each of the various types of diseases that it can detect.
  • Critical Congenital Heart Disease (CCHD)
    • Congenital heart diseases are some of them most common birth defects. They range from minor to life-threatening. The most concerning are the group known as “Critical Congenital Heart Diseases” because they require surgery by one month of age in order to avoid death. Pulse oximetry is a simple test that can be used to screen newborns for these serious heart defects, enabling us to identify them in the first days of life. In this module, you will learn how to perform this potentially life-saving screening test.
  • Vitamin K, Hepatitus B, and Erythromycin
    • In this module, we will cover the role of vitamin K in blood clotting, sources of vitamin K, and the reasons why newborns lack vitamin K at birth. This will help us to achieve the broader understanding of why it is important to administer, or give, the vitamin K injection to newborns shortly after birth! Extending the understanding of the importance of vitamin K by identifying the sources of this vitamin in our diet and the reasons why newborns lack this vitamin, we will then discuss vitamin K deficiency bleeding in newborns and the vitamin K injection. We will then learn about the hepatitis B virus and discuss why it is important to vaccinate newborns shortly after birth! This lesson will discuss eye infections in newborns, and the reasons for application of an antibiotic ointment called erythromycin to a newborn’s eyes after birth.

Taught by

Daniel Nicklas, Christine Gold and Mary Kohn, MD


5.0 rating, based on 2 Class Central reviews

4.8 rating at Coursera based on 526 ratings

Start your review of Preventative Healthcare for the Newborn Baby

  • This excellent course will likely work well with a wide range of audiences - from medical students, general practitioners and aspiring pediatricians who are looking for a review material on the topic, to expectant non-medically-trained caregivers who want to know the science of the medical recommendations in taking care of newborns. The material is easy to digest, and the references drive through the emphasized points adequately. As a medical student, I learned new things from this course particularly on the "whys" of certain routine practices that are usually not discussed in our rotations.
  • Kusoro Adebimpe Esther

    Kusoro Adebimpe Esther completed this course.

    Very much helpful. Its had expanded my knowledge in the care of New born as a midwife and Family health practional.
    Also it will help in good nuturing of a new born and preventing irreversible damage caused by the after effect of jaundice and mismanagement .
    More so it broaden my knowledge on early identification of congenital abnormalities

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