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However, some are also very serious and can result in mental retardation or death if not treated. Babies with these conditions appear normal at birth. It is only with time that the condition affects the baby's mental or physical development, causing other medical problems which could result in permanent damage. The newborn screen helps to identify babies who need treatment such as medication or special diets.

Newborn screening tests are reliable, but may not always detect a disorder. If your baby is sick, talk to the baby's doctor as soon as possible. Most infants with a condition found by newborn screening show no signs of the condition right after birth. Screening can usually identify a problem before the baby becomes sick, and in time to provide for any special medical care. The law MS Statute requires that all babies born in Mississippi be screened prior to discharge from the hospital regardless of the age of the baby or the feeding status.

The only legal reason for not collecting a screening specimen is if the parents object to such testing for religious reasons.

Serving the Family From Birth to the Medical Home

As a parent, you may refuse newborn screening only if your religious beliefs and practices do not allow this testing. If you refuse to have the screen performed on your baby, you may be asked to sign a form stating you refused to have your baby screened for these very serious conditions. This form will go in your baby's medical record. Some genetic disorders are serious; some are even life-threatening. Others slow physical development or cause mental retardation.

Unfortunately, most infants with these disorders show no obvious signs of disease at first. The good news is that proper screening at birth can discover these problems early. With early diagnosis and treatment, some genetic disorders can often be managed effectively. The screening specimen is usually collected between 24 and 48 hours of age.

Vital Records - Birth/Death Certificates

A few drops of blood are taken by pricking the baby's heel and dropping blood onto a special newborn screening card that is shipped to the screening laboratory. Results are mailed to the hospital of birth.

The doctor of record will be notified of any abnormal newborn screening results by the Mississippi State Department of Health. It is very important that the hospital have the parents' correct last name, physical address, and a working telephone number. Your baby's doctor can request your baby's screening result from the hospital or call the Mississippi State Department of Health's Genetic Services Program for the screening results.

Ask your baby's doctor about the screening results at the first well-baby checkup. Not necessarily. There are several reasons why a repeat screening may be needed. If the screening is done incorrectly, a repeat test will be needed. If a blood sample is collected too early, a repeat screening is needed. Having to retest for these reasons does not mean that something is wrong with your baby; it means another sample is needed so that the screening can be done properly. If the first screening was abnormal for one of the conditions, a second, confirmatory screening may be required.

Having an abnormal screening test does not mean that your baby has a problem. Refusal of Testing. Order Specimen Collection Cards. How to Fill Out Collection Cards PDF Instructions for completing the demographic information section of the newborn screening specimen collection cards.

Newborn Screening

Low Birthweight and Sick Babies PDF Additional requirements are necessary when infants are premature, sick, or are administered substances that interfere with newborn screening tests. Specimen Collection Instructions Step-by-step instructions and photographs for proper collection and handling of a newborn screening dried blood spot specimen. Unsatisfactory Specimen Examples Photographs and possible causes of common specimen collection errors.

Also available in Spanish. Disorders Detected by Newborn Blood Spot Screening PDF An overview of the disorders detected by newborn blood spot screening in Washington State, including the benefits of early detection and treatment.

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The Newborn Screening program encourages families to discuss any questions they have regarding newborn screening with their healthcare provider. This fact sheet explains what is CCHD, how the screening works, and includes space for care providers to insert contact information for providers who can do screening.


This helps ensure all babies born in a hospital or birth center in Washington State receive newborn screening. This helps ensure all babies born in a home setting in Washington State receive newborn screening. Sign up to receive important newborn screening announcements, such as holiday specimen receiving hour reminders, program changes and updates, annual hospital compliance statistics, quarterly bulletins, and more. It is part of our ongoing efforts to enhance communication, increase program efficiency, and improve the quality of our services. Subscribe to our Newborn Screening Topic.

Please contact us if you have questions. Newborn Screening. About Us. Contact Us. Amino Acid Disorders. Endocrine Disorders. Fatty Acid Disorders. Lysosomal Storage Disorders. Organic Acid Disorders. Other Disorders. Healthcare Professionals.