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Newborn Screening Tests

Medically reviewed by Last updated on Jul 7, 2024.

What do I need to know about newborn screening tests?

Newborn screening tests check your baby for conditions that may be treated, prevented, or managed. Screening tests are usually done when a baby is 1 to 2 days old. Early diagnosis and treatment of certain conditions can prevent them from becoming life-threatening. A condition may instead be managed to help prevent symptoms or make them less severe.

How do I prepare my baby for newborn screening tests?

Your baby's healthcare provider may prepare your baby for the tests if you give birth in the hospital. The provider may instead have you help prepare your baby while you are in the hospital. You may need to do the following:

What will happen during my baby's newborn screening tests?

What should I expect after my baby's newborn screening tests?

What are the risks of newborn screening tests?

Tests may need to be repeated if your baby was born early or has a high risk for a condition. A repeated test may not give the same results as the first test. Some heart conditions cannot be diagnosed with a pulse oximeter.

Care Agreement

You have the right to help plan your baby's care. To help with this plan, you must learn about your baby's lab tests. You can then discuss the results with your baby's healthcare providers. Work with them to decide what care may be used to treat your baby.The above information is an educational aid only. It is not intended as medical advice for individual conditions or treatments. Talk to your doctor, nurse or pharmacist before following any medical regimen to see if it is safe and effective for you.

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Further information

Always consult your healthcare provider to ensure the information displayed on this page applies to your personal circumstances.