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.  


Announcements

Grand Rounds: Newborn Screening
“To the Ends of the Earth?”: Newborn Screening Long-Term Follow-Up

Grand Rounds is a lecture series at the Texas Department of State Health Services (DSHS). There is no cost to participate and continuing education credit is available for some professions. Participate by webinar or in person in Austin. 

Join us on Tuesday, May 30, 2017, from 11:00 am to 12:30 pm Central Time.  Kathryn Hassell, MD will present an overview of hemoglobinopathies that are routinely detected through newborn screening. Hemoglobinopathies are inherited conditions that affect the number or shape of red blood cells in the body. Discussion will include the parameters and potential outcomes tracked for individuals with these conditions. Attendees will learn about the perspectives relating to duration and scope of follow-up of identified infants and the role newborn screening programs have in that follow-up.

In Person: K-100 auditorium at the Main Campus of the Texas Department of State Health Services, 1100 West 49th Street, Austin, Texas 78756.

Webinar: All persons attending the webinar must register online. If multiple persons are viewing at one site, everyone must still individually register AND everyone viewing at that one site must complete the sign-in sheet the day of event. At end of the webinar, please scan and email the completed sign-in sheet and send to nbs.education@dshs.texas.gov. 

Learning objectives:

  • Recognize the reason to screen for hemoglobinopathies at birth and which are routinely detected by newborn screening
  • List the key clinical parameters and outcomes potentially to be tracked for individuals with hemoglobinopathies detected by newborn screening
  • Discuss the various perspectives regarding the duration and scope of follow-up of identified infants and the role of newborn screening programs in that follow-up

Questions? Email nbs.education@dshs.texas.gov or call 512-776-2682 for more information and to request accommodations, including communication access, which should be made a minimum of 5 business days prior to the event. (Use relay option of your choice to call if needed.) Requests received with less notice cannot be guaranteed.
  

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 nbs.education@dshs.texas.gov 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 nbs.education@dshs.texas.gov 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
Email: newborn@dshs.texas.gov


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 May 19, 2017