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patient education

Newborn screening guide for parents

key information

source: Illinois Department of Public Health


Most babies born in the United States are healthy, but there are some babies who may seem fine at birth that have a serious unseen disorder. If detected early, some of the problems can be prevented or managed more effectively.

After your baby is at least 24 hours old, a nurse from the hospital will collect a small sample of blood from the baby’s heel. If your baby goes home from the hospital sooner than 24 hours of age, or is born at home, you should make an appointment with your child’s doctor to make sure the test is done at the proper time. This screening is most accurate soon after the baby is born, so if your baby is born at home, it is important to make arrangements to have this done before your baby’s birth, or as soon as possible after your baby’s birth.


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