Newborn Screening



Newborn Screening is a process in which infants are screened for inherited diseases. Most infants with an inherited condition show no obvious signs of disease immediately after birth. However, with special tests, the newborn screening program can identify an infant who may have one of 50 disorders and alert the doctor and caregivers of the need for special care of the infant.

With early diagnosis and medical treatment, complications from these serious, but uncommon, conditions can usually be prevented. The goal is to identify the disorder before the problem has time to cause damaging health effects.

In Iowa the law requires all babies have the newborn screen panel so a few drops of blood are obtained from a newborn baby's heel before being discharged from the hospital. The blood is then sent to the State Hygienic Laboratory for testing.

Parents are usually not notified when the screening results are within the normal range. Generally, parents are notified only if retesting or further testing is needed. If your baby's health care provider asks you to bring your baby in for testing, do so as soon as possible.

You may refuse testing. If you refuse, you must sign an Iowa Neonatal Metabolic Screening Waiver for Newborn Screening Refusal form and accept the legal responsibility for the consequences of this decision.