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Quick Facts: Newborn Screening

Newborn screening (NBS) is a state level public health program that provides early identification and follow-up for treatment of infants affected by certain rare but serious genetic, metabolic, hormonal and/or functional conditions. Many of these conditions can be treated if found early. Most NBS tests are done using a few drops of blood from the newborn's heel, usually taken in the hospital 24 to 48 hours after birth.

In 2010, the Secretary of Health and Human Services adopted a Recommended Uniform Screening Panel (RUSP) to be used as a nationwide standard for state NBS programs. The RUSP, when first developed in 2004 by the American College of Medical Genetics, consisted of 29 disorders, called core conditions, for which effective treatments were available. The RUSP also included 25 secondary conditions that could be diagnosed while testing for the core conditions, but for which there were no documented treatments or there was limited knowledge about the disorder's natural history.

Following an update in March 2015, the RUSP now includes 32 core conditions and 26 secondary conditions. States may also screen for additional disorders. Because each state operates its own NBS program and decides which tests are required, states vary in the number and types of conditions for which they screen.

Detailed data at the state level will be added to PeriStats in future updates.

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