Newborn screening is a simple blood test that can help determine if a child has a condition that needs to be treated, such as a metabolic disorder or cystic fibrosis. The test also screens for some endocrine disorders, including congenital hypothyroidism and congenital adrenal hyperplasia as well as hemoglobinopathies (blood disorders).
The test is performed using a simple heel stick to draw a small amount of blood from the child. The blood is sent to an Indiana State Department of Health laboratory where testing is done to determine if abnormalities are present or if additional lab testing needs to be completed. All newborns in Indiana receive this mandatory screening test before they leave the hospital.
A newborn screening nurse will receive the results of your child’s test and relay it to you if an abnormality is found. Occasionally, a newborn may need to have a repeat newborn screening, but that does not necessarily mean your child has a specific disorder.
It is important to remember that newborn screening may not identify all infants for early diagnosis. Your child’s doctor will refer you for more testing if your child shows significant signs and symptoms of a particular disorder.
Your child’s newborn screening will consist of a simple heel prick in order to draw a small amount of blood. A nurse in the hospital nursery will do this test after your baby is born and before you leave the hospital.
A newborn screening is required by the state of Indiana and is paid for by the state. You do not need to bring anything or pay anything when this screening is performed. Please note that you will not be able to leave the hospital with your baby until the newborn screening is complete.
A nurse will contact you if the results of your child’s newborn screening show a possible condition or if the newborn screening blood test needs to be repeated. If results are normal, your child's primary care doctor will tell you at one of the initial well-baby visits.
In addition to our primary hospital location at the Academic Health Center in Indianapolis, IN, we have convenient locations to better serve our communities throughout the state.