Newborn Screening Tests
The California Newborn Screening Program screens all newborns for over 60 different conditions, including PKU, disorders of hemoglobin, thyroid disorders, adrenal disorders and fatty acid metabolism disorders.
The test is done by drawing a few drops of blood from the baby’s heel (about 24 hours after birth) and sending it to a state laboratory. The results are then sent to your Pediatrician. All babies have this testing done automatically while still in the hospital.
The value in performing newborn screening is that there are rare conditions which can be identified immediately at birth, long before any harm or damage has occurred to the baby. After making the diagnosis, treatment can be implemented immediately, either completely preventing or at least minimizing the extent of harm that can be caused by the condition identified.
For more information, you may contact the Genetic Disease Branch of the California Dept. of Health Services at 510-412-1502.