Newborn Screening

Lifespan Health
Public Health

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What would you like to do?

What you need to know

What you need to know

Newborn Screening During the COVID-19 Pandemic

At this time, the statutory and regulatory requirements mandating newborn screening have NOT been suspended. Therefore, all newborns must be screened at 24-48 hours, or prior to discharge even if discharged at less than 24 hours of age. If collected early, a repeat needs to be obtained by 7 days of age. Encouraging parents to stay at least 24 hours so they can avoid a return visit is more important than ever. Likewise, collection of quality specimens the first time is also more important than ever. NICU screening requirements for serial screening continue to be in place.

Some of the recommended follow-up protocols are being modified to reduce the risk of COVID-19 exposure to infants and families from hospital visits for repeat and confirmatory testing. In many cases it will be more important than ever to consult with the appropriate pediatric subspecialist to discuss individual cases and determine the best path forward, considering the patient's and community's circumstances, and the relative risk of serious disease based on the newborn screening result. 

During the current COVID-19 Pandemic, the Nebraska Newborn Screening Program will continue to follow our current follow-up process of contacting medical professionals via phone, fax, secure e-fax, and as needed secure e-mails with recommendations for follow-up on abnormal screen results, and other situations requiring repeat screening (such as specimens drawn too early or that are unsatisfactory).

Please scroll to the bottom of this page to reach out to the newborn screening program contacts with any questions. 

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COVID-19 & Newborn Screening: Infographic

Although the Nebraska Department of Health and Human Services is responding to COVID-19, newborn screening guidelines are not changing at this time. An update will be sent if regulations are suspended via Executive Order. Learn more.

Newborn Screening is done for every baby born in Nebraska. A set of blood tests are done to find conditions that could be harmful to your child.
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Even after a baby is born, there are usually no signs or symptoms, so parents cannot tell whether or not their baby may have a condition. This is why newborn screening is so important. It may find something you cannot see.

If a baby has one of these conditions and it is not found early, a baby could have seizures, physical disabilities, developmental disabilities, chronic illness, or may die.  

Blood tests are needed to help find the conditions so treatment can begin early and prevent these effects.

Disclaimer Statement

The screening tests are very efficient and give newborns the best chance to have the conditions found early. The tests are not diagnostic. They are a "screen" to find newborns that need more testing to see if they have certain conditions. However, like most lab tests, they cannot guarantee that every affected newborn will be identified, or that only newborns at higher risk of being affected will be found. There will be some "false positives" (newborns with a positive or abnormal screen result who are later found to have normal results), and there might be "false negatives" (affected newborns whose screening test results did not suggest a condition). 


Newborn Screening
Nebraska Department of Health & Human Services
Phone Number
(402) 471-6733
Fax Number
(402) 742-2332
Mailing Address
P.O. Box 95026, Lincoln, Nebraska 68509-5026

Jillian Chance, RN, BSN
Contact for information about program planning, evaluation and management, professional and patient education materials, and advisory committee
Phone Number
(402) 471-6733

Krystal Baumert
Contact for information about metabolic and endocrine conditions, transfusions, lysosomal storage diseases
Phone Number
(402) 471-0374

Karen Eveans, MD
Contact for information about hemoglobinopathies, cystic fibrosis, SCID, and X-ALD 
Phone Number
(402) 471-6558

Sarah Ward
Contact for information about drawn early and unsatisfactory specimens, hospital QA monitoring, and out of hospital births
Phone Number
(402) 471-6759

Michaela Howard, RD
Metabolic foods program, patient educational materials, advisory committee, staff support
Phone Number
(402) 471-9731