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.
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.
NCAA requests for Newborn Screening results for Hemoglobinopathy testing must be requested through your child's physician and can only be released to a medical provider. Please include the following information when your physician requests the information (date of birth, mother's first and last name at time of child's birth, and the name of the birth facility). Please note requests from physicians will only be accepted on your physician's official letterhead. Requests can be faxed to the program at (402) 742-2332. Thank you.
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.
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).