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Information for Health Care Providers

What is Newborn Screening?

Newborn screening is a public health activity performed in every state. Currently, newborn screening includes:

  1. Blood spot screening
    This test screens newborns for different genetic and metabolic conditions including phenylketonuria (PKU), medium chain acyl-CoA dehydrogenase deficiency (MCADD), and congenital adrenal hyperplasia (CAH).

  2. Critical congenital heart defects
    Certain types of critical congenital heart defects (CCHDs) are screened for using a pulse oximeter. The pulse oximeter is attached to the newborn after 24 hours of life and is positive if it is below a specific level.

  3. Hearing screening
    A newborn’s hearing is screened via two different techniques: Otoacoustic Emissions or Auditory Brainstem Response. Both methods are performed after the newborn is about 12 hours old.

What is the Recommended Uniform Screening Panel?

The Secretary’s Advisory Committee on Heritable Disorders in Newborns and Children are a group of professionals and family advocates convened by the Secretary of Health. Their purpose is to review the evidence and public health impact of conditions that could potentially be added to the newborn screening panel. The committee then makes recommendations to the Secretary of Health about whether the conditions should be added to the panel. Conditions which the committee believes should be added to the newborn screening panel are part of the Recommended Uniform Screening Panel (RUSP).

For more information about the RUSP or the Committee on Heritable Disorders in Newborns and Children, go to: http://www.hrsa.gov/advisorycommittees/mchbadvisory/heritabledisorders/recommendedpanel/

What conditions are screened for in my state?

Although the Committee on Heritable Disorders in Newborns and Children makes recommendations on whether to include a specific condition on the newborn screening panel, each state decides for itself which conditions to include on their state newborn screening panels. As a result, state newborn screening panels differ slightly. To find out which conditions your state screens for, go to: web/stateProfile/input.action

Where can I find my state’s newborn screening program?

For contact information for your state’s newborn screening program, visit: https://data.newsteps.org/newsteps-web/stateProfile/input.action

Where can I find more information?

Baby’s First Test is a family-friendly site with lots of information about newborn screening:
http://www.babysfirsttest.org/

The Newborn Screening Technical assistance and Evaluation Program (NewSTEPs) is a data repository and great resource for newborn screening programs and providers:
https://www.newsteps.org/