Newborn screening tests babies for serious medical conditions. Tests are performed using a few drops of a baby’s blood to identify certain genetic conditions that may permanently impact newborns and their families. Many of these conditions may not show symptoms at first, but early recognition and treatment can help affected babies live as long and normal of a life as possible.
Newborn babies get screening tests before they leave the hospital. A few drops of blood are taken from pricking the newborn's heel, usually 1-2 days after birth.
The test results are shared with the baby’s doctor. If a screening shows a baby might have a condition, it is important for parents to follow up quickly. Further testing may be needed.
New York State’s Genetic Screening Program was started in 1965 and now tests for more than 45 different conditions. Although these conditions are rare, 1 in 300 babies born in New York every day has one of these conditions. Early treatment can make the biggest difference in those babies’ lives.
For more information on newborn screening, visit https://www.wadsworth.org/programs/newborn/screening/families or https://medlineplus.gov/newbornscreening.html.