Frequently Asked Questions
The Connecticut Newborn Screening Program
The Connecticut Newborn Screening Program (CT NBS) is a public health program that screens all babies born in the state for many serious but treatable metabolic and genetic disorders.
While most babies are born healthy, some babies are born with serious but treatable medical conditions. Your baby will receive three different screening tests while in the hospital:
- the bloodspot screen checks for medical conditions that can cause problems with your baby’s growth and development and can sometimes cause death if not treated. You may hear someone call this the “PKU” test, but this name is outdated. PKU is just one of over 60 conditions that can be detected by bloodspot screening in Connecticut
- the hearing screen
- the pulse oximetry screen that checks for serious heart problems
Every baby born in Connecticut receives a newborn screening (NBS) bloodspot test. This is done by taking a few drops of blood from the baby’s heel one to two days after birth. The blood is sent to the Connecticut State Public Health Laboratory where testing can detect over 60 treatable medical conditions.
Babies with one of these medical conditions may not look sick when they are born. NBS helps to find babies with these health problems, so treatment can start early. Early treatment can help prevent serious illness and death.
If the bloodspot test shows that a baby has an out of range screening result, CT NBS Program staff will call the baby’s primary care provider to report the results and will either request a second bloodspot test or that the baby follow up with a specialist. The specialist will determine whether the baby has a medical condition and start treatment if needed.
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