Newborn Screening

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Mission Statement

The goal of the Newborn Screening (NBS) Clinical Care Coordination Program is to decrease the morbidity and mortality of infants born in Texas through customer-oriented, high quality newborn screening follow-up, case management and outreach education.  


September is Newborn Screening Awareness Month September is newborn screening awareness month.

Did you know all Texas newborns are screened for rare, but serious medical conditions? Blood samples are screened for 53 conditions that are sent the Austin state laboratory to test. Also, babies are screened to check their hearing and for critical congenital heart disease before they leave the birthing facility.

If a newborn baby has an abnormal screen, the baby’s doctor will be notified right away. However, the mother may be contacted directly by a DSHS nurse or public health specialist if the baby does not have a primary doctor. It is important to return these calls immediately. Finding and treating a condition at an early age can prevent serious problems like developmental delays, illness or even death, and allow your child to reach his or her full potential. 

Every Minute Counts: Timely Blood Samples Save Babies Lives

Texas newborns are screened for more than 50 conditions through a test from a few drops of blood on a card. For many of these conditions, every minute counts. That's why it is critical that the state laboratory receives the completed bloodspot cards as soon as possible. 

A new 5-minute video, "Blood samples on a newborn screening blood spot card. [Click image to view video. New window will open.]More Than Drops On a Card," features two Texas families. They share their stories emphasizing how important it is to collect timely, good quality specimens.  

Learn About Proper Specimen Collection: Watch the DSHS specimen collection video to learn more about proper blood specimen collection, handling, and submission procedures. 

Free Educational Materials Available

The Newborn Screening Program provides educational materials at no cost. Brochures and other publications are available in English and Spanish for healthcare providers, parents, and medical staff.

To view and order free publications related to:

You also can call (512) 776-3957 to order publications.

Newborns Screening Expanded to Include 24 Secondary Conditions

Effective May 2015, all babies born in Texas are screened for 24 secondary conditions that can cause developmental delays, major illness or even death. Previously, the blood spot screening included only 29 core conditions. This increased the number of conditions screened through a blood test analyzed at the state’s public health laboratory in Austin to now total 53 conditions. Texas newborns also are screened for hearing loss and critical congenital heart defects at the birthing facility where the baby was born. Read the DSHS news release.

Cytomegalovirus: A Common Cause of Hearing Loss in Children

Cytomegalovirus (CMV) is a common viral infection. Most people have been infected with CMV by the time they are adults. If the CMV infection occurs for the first time during pregnancy, especially early in pregnancy, the developing fetus may have birth defects including being deaf or hard of hearing. Read more about CMV.

Newborn Screening for Critical Congenital Heart Disease in Texas

Reporting babies diagnosed with Critical Congenital Heart Disease (CCHD) is mandatory in Texas since September 2014. Learn more about CCHD including viewing the CCHD reporting form and frequently asked questions. The CCHD toolkit provides educational information on screening for CCHD. 

Newborn Screening In-Person and Webinar Trainings

The Newborn Screening (NBS) program offers in-person and live webinar trainings. These educational trainings are designed to provide general information on the NBS program, genetic disorders screened in Texas, specimen collection, the importance of early detection and treatment, and resources available to assist healthcare providers participating in newborn screening. 

  • In-person training is generally for audiences of 15 or more. Email to schedule in-person training for your organization.
  • Webinar training is for small to mid-size groups. The online presentation allows participants to view documents and applications electronically from any computer. During the webinar, participants can ask questions. Email to schedule a webinar training for your organization.

Contact Us

Department of State Health Services
Newborn Screening Unit
PO Box 149347 MC 1918
Austin, TX 78714-9347
Phone: 1-800-252-8023 ext. 3957
Fax: 512-776-7450

External links to other sites are intended to be informational and do not have the endorsement of the Texas Department of State Health Services. These sites may not be accessible to people with disabilities.

Last updated September 1, 2017