What is Newborn Screening? Newborn Screening is a state public health service that ensures all babies born in and outside of a hospital are tested for certain serious genetic conditions at birth. In California, the Newborn Screening Program was developed in the 1960’s with the testing of phenylketonuria (PKU) and today has expanded to include over 80 genetic disorders. These disorder groups: metabolic, endocrine, hemoglobin cystic fibrosis and severe combined immune deficiency (SCID) have varying degrees of severity.
Why is Newborn Screening Important? Most infants appear perfectly healthy at birth and come from families with no history of genetic disorders. In California, around 750 babies will be identified with one of these diseases every year. This means 1 out of every 600 babies tested will be diagnosed with a genetic condition. Early identification and treatment of genetic disorders soon after birth can prevent serious health problems from occurring and may even save your baby’s life.
How does my baby get tested for Newborn Screening? Prior to you leaving the hospital, a few drops of blood will be taken from your baby’s heel and placed onto a special filter paper. This filter paper is then sent to a state approved lab for testing. Quality control of your baby’s test is completed before your baby’s results are released. If your baby was not tested at the hospital before discharge, call your healthcare provider to find out where you can go for testing.
How do I receive my baby’s Newborn Screening results? Parents can request a copy of their baby’s results from their pediatrician or clinic. It takes about three weeks for your doctor to receive your baby’s results. If your baby needs more testing, you will be notified by phone or letter in a few days after your baby’s blood spot is collected.
How much does the Newborn Screening cost? Currently, the cost of the newborn screening is $176.25. This also includes many of the special tests that may be needed as a follow-up. Medi-Cal, health plans and most private insurance will pay for the test.
Where do I find out more information about Newborn Screening?
For more information please visit: https://www.cdph.ca.gov/Programs/CFH/DGDS/Pages/nbs/default.aspx
To reach the UCLA Area Service Center:
Call 310-826-4458 or email [email protected]
Learn more about myUCLAhealth