Other Newborn Screening FAQs

Basic information for topics, such as "What is it?" and "How many newborns are tested?" is available in the About Newborn Screening section. Answers to other Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) specific to newborn screening are in this section.

As of November 2016, the Recommended Uniform Screening Panel (RUSP) suggests testing for 34 core conditions and 26 secondary conditions. A core condition is one for which a test is available to detect it, the health outcomes are understood, an effective treatment is available, and the identification of the condition could affect future health decisions of the family. Screening for the RUSP core conditions is highly recommended. A secondary condition is one that is identified unintentionally when screening for one of the core conditions or when doing confirmatory testing for an out-of-range result of a core condition.1

The rules about what happens with the drops of blood that are collected as part of the newborn screening vary by state. Some states destroy the samples after one month. Others may maintain the sample for several years. In some cases, researchers use saved samples to develop new screening tests, improve existing tests, and study the effects of exposure to environmental toxins in large groups of people.2,3 The Newborn Screening Translational Research Network  has more information about research using these blood samples


  1. Baby’s First Test. (2016). The Recommended Uniform Screening Panel. Retrieved March 9, 2017, from http://babysfirsttest.org/newborn-screening/the-recommended-uniform-screening-panel 
  2. Baby’s First Test. (2016). What happens to the blood sample. Retrieved March 9, 2017, from http://www.babysfirsttest.org/newborn-screening/what-happens-to-the-blood-sample 
  3. Tarini, B. A., & Lantos, J. D. (2013). Lessons that newborn screening in the USA can teach us about biobanking and large-scale genetic studies. Personalized Medicine, 10(1), 81–87. Retrieved March 6, 2017, from https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3626167/
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