Newborn screening includes simple blood tests to check for various conditions and disorders to help ensure your baby is healthy, or to identify problems early so they can be treated. In New York State, all babies are tested, even if the baby seems healthy and has no symptoms or obvious health problems. A tiny amount of blood is taken from your baby's heel, collected on a special paper, and sent to the Department of Health for analysis. Any redness or bruising from the test usually goes away in a few days.
The New York State Newborn Screening Program tests for more than 40 disorders. Some of these disorders are genetic (inherited), while others are metabolic (referring to chemical changes within a living cell), blood-related, hormone-related, or infectious. Fortunately, if identified and treated early, serious problems can often be prevented. Your baby's hearing will also be tested.
Most screening tests are performed after your baby is at least 24 hours old. Sometimes more testing is needed if the first test did not produce adequate results or if a positive result needs to be confirmed. You will be asked to provide the NewYork-Presbyterian staff with your pediatrician's name, address, and phone number to ensure prompt follow-up regarding your baby's screening test results.