On April 24, 2008, the Newborn Screening Saves Lives Act was signed into law in the United States. Newborn screening is the practice of testing all babies for certain disorders and conditions that can hinder their normal development. The Newborn Screening Saves Lives Act provided resources to apply national standards for newborn screening programs in every state, including funding for follow-up care, education materials, outreach, professional training, and quality control.
Newborn screening is performed on all infants born in the United States, usually 24 to 48 hours after the baby is born. The test is performed by pricking the baby's heel to collect a few drops of blood. The blood is placed on a special piece of paper and sent to a laboratory for analysis, the results of which can help identify serious health conditions that might not otherwise be recognized yet. Parents can ask for a copy of the test results, which are sent to the baby's doctor or clinic.
On March 16, 2015, the Newborn Screening Saves Lives Reauthorization Act took effect. The Reauthorization Act assures that this vital public health program continues. The Reauthorization Act added an amendment that requires parental consent if a newborn's blood spot is to be used in federally-funded research.
Please use the links below to learn more about newborn screening and the Newborn Screening Saves Lives Act.