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Find out about program updates, news features, and families helped by newborn screening.


Why was the newborn screening specimen reported as unsatisfactory?

All tests performed by the Bureau of Public Health Laboratory – Jacksonville are calibrated to an expected blood volume contained in a 1/8-inch punch of filter paper. There must be an even penetration of blood for the test to be accurate. This means soaking through the filter paper with one drop of blood that fills the circle. Submitting a poor-quality specimen places the newborn at risk for a delay in diagnosis. It is important to collect another blood sample immediately after being notified of an unsatisfactory specimen.  

The most common causes of unsatisfactory specimens are caused by not having enough blood, either to fill the circles or completely soak through the filter paper.


Testing for Spinal Muscular Atrophy (SMA)

The Florida Department of Health, Newborn Screening (NBS) Program, is pleased to announce that beginning April 27, 2020, all newborns screened will be tested for a new condition, Spinal Muscular Atrophy (SMA). If you have any questions, please contact the