Frequently Asked Questions

What is newborn screening?

It is an essential preventative public health system recognized in the US and internationally and is comprised of screening, follow-up, diagnosis, management, evaluation, and education.

What conditions are tested in Nevada?

Genetic, endocrine, hemoglobinopathies, metabolic, amino acid, fatty acid oxidation, organic acid, urea cycle, immunodeficiency and other disorders.

How are conditions on the newborn screening panel chosen?

The Recommended Uniform Screening Panel (RUSP) establishes a standardized list of disorders that have been supported by the Advisory Committee on Heritable Disorders in Newborns and Children and recommended by the Secretary of Health and Human Services (HHS).

What are the criteria used in determining conditions on the RUSP?

Disorders on the RUSP are chosen based on evidence that supports the potential net benefit of screening, the ability of states to screen for the disorder, and the availability of effective treatments.

Why do we need to perform newborn dried bloodspot screening?

To ensure early identification of conditions that can affect a child's long-term health or survival. Early detection, diagnosis, and intervention can prevent death or disability and improve outcomes for infants/children.

Who should participate in newborn dried bloodspot screening?

Newborn dried blood spot screening is for all babies. Nevada state law requires hospitals and midwives to collect a screening specimen on every baby born in the state.

When does newborn screening take place?

The first dried bloodspot specimen must be collected between 24-48 hours of age before your baby leaves the hospital or birth center. The second dried bloodspot specimen must be collected between 10-14 days of age.

How will my baby be tested?

A few drops of blood from a heel prick are placed on a special filter paper, called a Guthrie card for analysis in a newborn screening laboratory.

Who performs the dried blood spot collection?

A physician, nurse, midwife, obstetric center or hospital is responsible for newborn dried blood spot collection.

How can I get my baby’s newborn screening test results?

Ask your baby's doctor for the test results. Another test may be needed for various reasons.

Why does my baby need a repeat newborn screening test?

Abnormal or unsatisfactory test results will automatically generate a repeat screen request. It is important to take the baby promptly to a lab or pediatrician's office for the repeat screen.

What does unsatisfactory test result mean?

Unsatisfactory means the blood sample did not meet lab standards for testing due to any of the following: blood spots not sufficient, clotted or layered, supersaturated, scratched or abraded, wet or discolored, diluted, no blood on filter paper.

What does a positive or out-of-range result mean?

If your baby has a positive result suggestive of a condition(s) in the newborn screening panel, diagnostic testing is required to separate the true positives from false positives. Since newborn screening is not diagnostic, follow-up testing is required and must be performed immediately to determine if a condition is actually present.

Why does Nevada do the same newborn screen twice?

The first screen identifies 90% of all conditions and the second screen identifies 10% of all conditions. Some conditions may not show any abnormal results until the second or third week of life.

What happens to my baby’s blood sample after testing is done?

The newborn screening specimen card is kept between 6-12 months from the date of submission to the lab then destroyed.

Will my baby’s residual blood spot sample be sold and/or used for research purposes?

No, the newborn screening specimen card cannot be used for purposes other than newborn screening as allowed by law.

Will my baby’s residual blood spot sample be sold for genetic purposes?

No, the newborn screening specimen card cannot be used for purposes other than newborn screening as allowed by law.

Can I refuse screening for my baby?

A parent may refuse newborn screening for personal and/or religious beliefs by completing a signed Informed Dissent Form. The practitioner must inform the parents about the newborn screening process, screening conditions, parental understanding of medical consequences if an affected infant is not screened and subsequently harmed, and obtain a signed Informed Dissent Form with refusal reason. With proper counseling about the importance of early detection, some parents who initially refused screening subsequently do agree to have their baby screened.

How do I get more information about newborn screening?

Talk with your doctor, midwife or nurse. They should be able to provide additional details about newborn screening.