Newborn Screening For Cystic Fibrosis

Newborn screening (NBS) is a nationwide program to find babies born with certain health conditions, including cystic fibrosis. While a sweat test should be used to rule out or confirm a CF diagnosis, NBS can help you and your health care providers take immediate steps in order to keep your child as healthy as possible.

The Importance of Early Diagnosis in CF

Newborn screening for CF is done in the first 2 or 3 days after birth. Early treatment may prevent serious, lifelong problems. By diagnosing CF early, CF health care providers can help parents learn ways to keep their child as healthy as possible and delay or prevent health problems related to CF. Research shows that children who receive CF care early in life have better nutrition and are healthier than those who are diagnosed later. Early diagnosis and treatment can:

  • Improve growth
  • Help keep lungs healthy
  • Reduce hospital stays
  • Add years to life

How is Newborn Screening Done?

Newborn screening is done during the first few days of your baby's life—usually by a health care provider in the hospital. A few drops of blood from a heel prick are placed on a special card, called a Guthrie card.

This card with your baby's information is mailed to a special state laboratory that will test the blood sample for certain health conditions, including CF. In Nevada, newborn screening involves two blood samples, first one between 24-48 hours of age and second one between 10-14 days of age.

If you show symptoms of cystic fibrosis or your baby has a positive newborn screen for CF, a sweat test at a CF Foundation-accredited care center can provide a conclusive CF diagnosis by measuring the concentration of salt in a person's sweat. This simple, painless test is the most reliable way to diagnose CF.

Diagnosing cystic fibrosis is a multistep process. A complete diagnostic evaluation should include a newborn screening, a sweat chloride test, a genetic or carrier test and a clinical evaluation at a CF Foundation-accredited care center.

Visit the following websites for more information:

Sweat Testing Laboratories in Nevada

University Medical Center Laboratory
1800 W Charleston Blvd
Las Vegas, NV 89102
Phone (702) 383-2561 ext. 0 for appointment

Renown Medical Center Outpatient Laboratory
1155 Mill Street
Reno, NV 89502
Phone (775) 982-5000 for appointment


NBS Pulmonology Consultant
Craig Nakamura, MD
Children’s Lung Specialists, LTD
3820 Meadows Lane
Las Vegas, NV 89107
Phone (702) 598-4411
Fax (702) 598-1988

Sonia Budhecha, MD
Pediatrics Infusion Center
1155 Mill St
Reno, NV 89502
Phone (775) 982-3875
Fax (775) 982-5470