When should newborn screening be completed?
The three components of newborn screening – blood spot collection, CCHD screening, and hearing screening – are part of the standard of care for all newborns.
For well-babies: Newborn screening should be completed as soon after 24 hours as possible to promote early identification.
For Neonatal Intensive Care Unit (NICU) babies: The first blood spot specimen should be collected upon admission to the NICU. This is to serve as a baseline prior to transfusion or other treatments that may alter screening results. In the case of facility transfer: A blood spot specimen should be collected prior to transfer. A blood spot specimen should also be collected upon admission to the new facility.
A second blood spot specimen should be collected at 48-72 hours of age. A third specimen should be collected at 28 days of age or prior to discharge, whichever comes first, for all newborns who weighed less than 2,000 grams at birth or were less than 34 weeks gestational age. This third specimen is at the discretion of the attending provider for newborns outside these parameters.
If additional specimens are required, the treatment facility will be contacted by the Newborn Screening Follow-up Program with instructions. It is advised that the results of previous newborn screening specimens be reviewed prior to discharge from care for all newborns.
The completion of the hearing and CCHD screenings should occur when it is clinically appropriate to do so prior to discharge.