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Newborn Bloodspot screening

In the first week after birth, you will be offered a blood spot screening test for your baby. This test is a blood test that is taken from the baby's heel between days 5 - 8 of age.

All babies are offered screening for phenylketonuria, congenital hypothyroidism, cystic fibrosis, sickle cell diseases and medium-chain acyl-CoA dehydrogenase deficiency (MCADD) and screening for five further metabolic conditions. If a baby is thought to have one of the conditions, he or she will need further tests to confirm this.

Why should l have my baby screened?

Newborn blood spot screening identifies babies who may have rare but serious conditions. Most babies screened will not have any of the conditions but, for the small number that does, the benefits of screening are enormous. Early treatment can improve their health and prevent severe disability or even death.

How will I hear about the results?

Most babies will have normal results, indicating that they probably do not have any of the conditions. You should receive your baby's normal results from your Health visitor by the time your baby is six to eight weeks old. The result of the screening should be recorded in your baby’s personal child health record (often referred to as their ‘red book’). Please keep this safe and remember to ask your Health visitor for your baby's results if you have not received them.

If the baby is suspected of having one of the conditions you will be contacted directly by the specialist team and invited into Hospital for further testing and explanation.