Newborn Screening Newsletter

Florida Department of Health

Quarter 1 - 2023

Congenital Cytomegalovirus (cCMV)

On January 1, 2023, targeted congenital Cytomegalovirus (cCMV) screening began for newborns who do not pass their first hearing test.  cCMV is the most common viral infection and the leading non-genetic cause of hearing loss in infants born in the United States. cCMV infection is harmless to most people. However, when contracted during pregnancy, cCMV can cause symptoms in infants including hearing loss and developmental disabilities. This new screening is intended to identify infants with cCMV and connect families with appropriate medical treatments and therapies.

Congenital Heart Defect Awareness Week, February 7-14

During Congenital Heart Defect (CHD) Awareness Week (February 7-14), the Florida Department of Health (DOH) is highlighting the preventative measures and screenings completed by health care partners throughout the state to diagnose and treat congenital heart defects in all newborns. These conditions affect approximately 1% of babies born in the United States every year. Of those with a CHD, nearly 1 in 4 have a critical CHD (CCHD) which means the baby will need medical intervention during the first year of life. CCHD screening is performed using pulse oximetry screening during the newborn screening protocol at the newborn’s bedside before discharge. The Newborn Screening Program began collecting CCHD screening results as part of the newborn screening specimen submission in 2014. Since then, over 1.6 million babies born in Florida have been screened.

Timing is Everything

More than 15 conditions on Florida’s newborn screening panel are time-critical, meaning that days, and sometimes hours, can make a difference in the health outcome of a newborn. A delay in the transit (shipping) of newborn screening (NBS) specimens can cause a delay in testing and lead to late or delayed diagnosis of a child. In February 2015, the United States Department of Health and Human Services Secretary’s Advisory Committee on Heritable Disorders in Newborns and Children (ACHDNC) formalized a series of recommendations regarding timeliness in newborn screening.
These recommendations included:
1. Initial NBS specimens should be collected in the appropriate time frame for the newborn’s condition but no later than 48 hours after birth, and
2. NBS specimens should be received at the laboratory as soon as possible, ideally within 24 hours of collection.

Top Hospitals


See how Florida hospitals rank at collecting newborn screening samples correctly, on time, and transporting to the Bureau of Public Health Laboratory in Jacksonville. Grades are updated quarterly. View the NBS Grading Scale for more details.

See the top 2022 A+ hospitals below:



FAQ highlight

What is the purpose of newborn screening?

Conditions detected by newborn screening can negatively impact an infant’s physical and/or mental development. Newborn screening tests can detect metabolic, endocrine, hemoglobin, pulmonary, and other conditions. Babies born with many of these conditions may appear healthy at birth, and there may be no known family history. Early identification, along with timely and appropriate treatment, can be the difference between healthy development and potentially life-threatening problems

Did You Know

    • – All newborn screening specimens should identify the doctor who will care for the newborn after discharge. Provide the physician’s first and last name, and/or a clinic name, and office phone number. If this information is missing, it could delay timely follow-up for out-of-range results.


  • – The newborn screening specimen card must be accurately completed in its entirety for every screen collected. This includes the infant’s name, birth date and time, birth weight, collection date and time, and collection weight. If this information is not provided, testing may not be resulted correctly as some conditions are interpreted based upon age and/or weight.