What is Newborn Screening?

Newborn screening is used in Iowa to detect certain genetic and inherited conditions by collecting drops of blood from your baby's heel shortly after birth. Newborn screening tests every Iowa newborn for certain harmful or possibly deadly disorders that are not always obvious at birth. With a simple blood test, we can tell whether babies may have these disorders that could cause problems.



How is my baby screened?

Newborn screening is a very quick procedure. Drops of blood are obtained by pricking the baby’s heel at least 24 hours after birth. If born outside of the hospital, the screening can be arranged with the baby’s health care provider, local hospital or public health nursing agency, to be done 24 hours to 48 hours after birth.

The blood samples are then sent to the State Hygienic Laboratory for testing.

Why does my baby need newborn screening?

Newborn screening helps us find babies who may have certain serious medical disorders so they can begin treatment right away.

Without early treatment these conditions can lead to serious illness, disability or death.

The state law in Iowa is that all babies get this testing done. Talk to your health care provider if you have questions, or you may contact the Iowa Newborn Screening Program at 1-800-383-3826.