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Children's Medical Services - Special services for children with special needs
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Newborn Screening
Frequently Asked Questions

Why does my baby need Newborn Screening tests?

We test all babies because even babies who look healthy may have a rare health problem.

If we find problems early, we can begin treatment and may be able to prevent serious problems like mental retardation or death.

How will my baby be tested for Newborn Screening?

Before you leave the hospital, a few drops of blood will be taken from your baby's heel.

The hospital will send the blood sample to the Florida Newborn Screening Lab in Jacksonville.

When will I get the results of the test?

Your baby's doctor will be given the results by the hospital. Be sure to tell the hospital the correct name and phone number of your baby's doctor so they can send the results.

Parents are directly notified of the test results if there is a problem.

Ask about the results when you see your baby's doctor.

Why do some babies need to have the blood screening repeated?

Some babies need to have the screening repeated because there is a problem with the blood sample.

All babies who leave the hosipital earlier than 24 hours must have the screening repeated within 5 days of age.

A few babies need to have the screening repeated because the first test showed a possible health problem.

If your baby needs to have the screening repeated, get it done right away.

Our screening tests are very sensitive. Somtimes the results look positive even if there are no problems. Get your baby retested to be sure.

Why do some babies need to have additional testing?

All babies with abnormal screening results need more testing. You will be contacted if your baby needs to have additional testing.

If your baby needs more testing, get it done right away. Make sure your hospital and doctor have your correct address and phone number.

Why should my baby's hearing be tested?

We test all babies to find the ones who may not be able to hear. If we find hearing loss early, there are many ways we can help your baby.

Make sure your baby's hearing is tested before you leave the hospital.

What should I know about the Newborn Hearing Test?

The test is safe and painless and can be done in about 10 minutes. The test results are available before you leave the hospital.

Be sure to tell the hospital the name of your baby's doctor so they can send a copy of the results for your baby's records.

Why do some babies need another hearing test?

Some babies may need additional tests because of: fluid in the ear; noise in the testing room; baby was moving a lot; or baby has hearing loss.

Most babies who need another test have normal hearing. Some may have hearing loss. If your baby does not pass the hearing test, make sure he or she is tested again as soon as possible.

Can a newborn baby pass the hearing test and still have hearing loss?

Yes, some babies will hear well enough to pass the first test, but lose their hearing later because of: some illness; some medicines; some injuries; and family history of hearing loss.

What about my newborn's eyes?

The American Academy of Pediatrics recommends that a physician perform an eye evaluation that includes the red reflex test at all well-infant and well-child visits.

What if I have further questions?

Ask your baby's doctor if you have questions or concerns.

Your local Children's Medical Services Office are available to help you.