The Northwest Regional Newborn Screening Program screens newborns for endocrine, hemoglobin, Cystic Fibrosis and metabolic conditions and identifies those who need immediate treatment. If a baby tests positive for one of these conditions, staff will follow up to ensure they receive appropriate medical care.
These screening tests can prevent developmental problems, mental retardation or death.
Why do babies need newborn blood spot screening?
- Most babies are healthy when they are born, but we test all babies because a few babies look and act healthy but have a rare health problem.
- If we find problems early, we can help prevent serious problems like developmental delay, physical disability or death.
How are babies tested?
- Before newborn babies leave the hospital, a nurse will take a few drops of blood from the baby’s heel and place on a special paper.
- The hospital will send the blood samples to the state public health lab.