Newborn Screening Saves Lives Act Turns 10
On April 24, 2008, the Newborn Screening Saves Lives Act was signed into law in the United States. Newborn screening is the practice of testing all babies for certain disorders and conditions that can hinder their normal development. The Newborn Screening Saves Lives Act provided resources to apply national standards for newborn screening programs in every state, including funding for follow-up care, education materials, outreach, professional training, and quality control.
Newborn screening is performed on all infants born in the United States, usually 24 to 48 hours after the baby is born. The test is performed by pricking the baby's heel to collect a few drops of blood. The blood is placed on a special piece of paper and sent to a laboratory for analysis, the results of which can help identify serious health conditions that might not otherwise be recognized as early. In addition to the blood test, most states also screen newborns for hearing loss and critical congenital heart disease. Parents can ask for a copy of the test results, which are sent to the baby's doctor or clinic.
On March 16, 2015, the Newborn Screening Saves Lives Reauthorization Act took effect. The Reauthorization Act assures that this vital public health program continues. The Reauthorization Act added an amendment that requires parental consent if a newborn's blood spot is to be used in federally-funded research.
- Newborn Screening Legislation (Baby's First Test)
- Health Topic: Newborn Screening (U.S. National Library of Medicine)
- Newborn Screening Portal (Centers for Disease Control and Prevention)
- Newborn Screening (Genetics Home Reference)
- Baby's First Test
- Newborn Screening by State (National Newborn Screening and Global Resource Center)
- Advisory Committee on Heritable Disorders in Newborns and Children (U.S. Department of Health and Human Services)
- Newborn Screening Saves Lives Act of 2007 (H.R.3825) (U.S. Government Publishing Office) (PDF)
- Newborn Screening Saves Lives Reauthorization Act of 2014 (H.R.1281) (U.S. Government Publishing Office) (PDF)
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