Did you know that babies in Vermont are screened for 35 serious health problems soon after birth? When a baby is between 24 and 48 hours old, a small amount of the baby's blood is tested for 33 rare health problems that can cause serious illness or death. Two other tests which don't require blood will also be done at the hospital to check for problems with the baby's hearing or heart. Babies who are born at home can have their newborn screening tests done by a Certified Professional Midwife (CPM).
Why does my baby need newborn screening tests?
- We recommend that all babies get newborn screening tests, even if they are healthy.
- Newborn screening tests check the baby's blood for rare health problems that can cause illness or death.
- When these health problems are found early by testing, babies can get the treatment and care they need.
- Most babies are healthy when they are born but it is still important to test.
How will my baby be tested?
- A health care professional will take a small amount of blood from your baby's heel and send it to the laboratory.
- The health care professional will also check for hearing and heart problems. These tests don't require any blood.
- Parents or guardians who do not want to have their baby tested can decline by signing a form. A health care professional should explain the risk of not having the tests before the form is signed.
How will I get the results of the tests?
- Your baby's health care professional will tell you the results.
- It can take a few days before the blood test results are ready.
- The results from the hearing and heart tests are available right away.
Why would my baby need to have another test?
- If the test is done before your baby is 24 hours old.
- If there was a problem with the way the test was done.
- If the results of the first test showed a possible health problem.
What do I do if my baby needs another test?
- Your baby's health care professional or the Newborn Screening Program will contact you if your baby needs another test. They will tell you why your baby needs another test and what to do next.
- It is important to follow the health care professional's instructions and taker your baby to get the test.
- Make sure that the hospital and your baby's health care professional have your address and phone number in case they need to talk to you about the test results.
What happens to my baby's blood sample?
- In Vermont, blood samples are stored at the laboratory and destroyed after one year. The sample can be destroyed sooner or saved longer by sending a written request to the Vermont Newborn Screening Program.
Children with Special Health Needs CSHN supports children with complex, chronic health conditions and/or developmental disorders, ages birth - 21, and their families, with flexible, experienced, and proactive services.
Expecting Health - Newborn Screening Family Education Opportunities for families to learn about newborn screening.
Baby's First Test Nation's resource center for newborn screening information. This provides current educational and family resources about newborn screening at the local, state, and national levels.
Brochure for Families:
Centers for Disease Control - Newborn Screening General information from the CDC on newborn blood screening, hearing loss screening, and CCHD screening
Clinical and Laboratory Standards Institute (CLSI) Training video for newborn screening dried blood spot specimen collection.
Vermont Department of Health Materials; Find Specimen Collection Guidance, completing the NBS filter paper, the NBS Supply Order Form, learn about Shipping & Handling of Filter Papers, and reference the Vermont Newborn Screening Program Rule.
Understanding and Communicating NBS Results Toolkit Resources to learn more about what newborn screening results mean and how to support families through the process of receiving their child's results.
American College of Medical Genetics ACT Sheets ACT sheets and algorithms on genetic conditions to help inform clinical decision making.
Referral Protocol for Newborns with Positive CCHD Screens Contact information and process for referring newborns with abnormal CCHD screens.
Centers for Disease Control - Congenital Heart Defects Screening algorithm, information, and resources from the CDC on performing newborn screening for Critical Congenital Heart Defects (CCHDs).
Acute Illness Protocols These emergency protocols are intended as guidelines only. They should not be used for definitive treatment without consulting with a metabolic specialist.
Baby's First Test Up-to-date information on some of the most commonly asked questions about newborn screening.
Vermont Newborn Screening Program
Vermont Department of Health
280 State Drive
Waterbury, VT 05671-8360
[email protected] (non-urgent inquiries only)
Tel: 800-660-4427 (VT Only) or 802-951-5180