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NC Department of Health and Human Services
State Laboratory of Public Health
N.C. Public Health Home

Newborn Screening

Most newborns are born healthy and normal. However, there are some health problems that may not be detected on a routine exam by your baby's physician. This is why blood tests are used to screen newborns for these problems. A filter paper blood spot sample is required by state law (GS 130A-125) to be submitted to the North Carolina State Laboratory of Public Health for each infant born in North Carolina. The sample is tested for conditions that may cause mental retardation or death, if untreated. To prevent the effects of disease, the sample should be drawn 24-48 hours after birth.

How and Where is Your Baby Tested?

Before your baby leaves the hospital nursery, his or her heel will be pricked and a few drops of blood will be collected.  This blood specimen will be sent to the State Public Health Laboratory in Raleigh for testing.

What is the Role of the Parents?

After you get home from the hospital, you may be contacted by your baby´s health care provider to bring your baby in for a repeat blood sample. It is important that you follow-up quickly. If you have any concerns about the results of the screening tests, please contact your baby´s health care provider.

Newborn Screening Information



Updated: November 16, 2022