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

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 is why it is critical that the state laboratory receive 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. This video is the first in a planned series of videos funded through a NewSTEPs 360 grant awarded to the Newborn Screening Program. The NewSTEPs 360 project goal is to bring together national and state partners to share and support quality practices to improve timeliness in newborn screening.

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 – FREE!  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 can also call (512) 776-3957 to order publications.

Newborns Are Screened for 24 Secondary Conditions

Effective May 26, 2015, the Texas Department of State Health Services formally began screening all babies born in Texas for 24 additional health conditions that can cause developmental delays, major illness or even death. Previously, the screening included only the 29 core conditions.

The addition of the secondary newborn screening conditions means that all Texas babies are screened for a total of 53 disorders through a blood test analyzed at the state’s public health laboratory in Austin. Texas newborns also are screened for hearing loss and critical congenital heart defects at the hospital or birthing center where the birth occurred. Read the DSHS news release.

Cytomegalovirus: A Common Cause of Hearing Loss in Children

Cytomegalovirus (CMV) is a viral infection that is common. Most people have been infected with CMV by the time they reach adulthood. 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 of Critical Congenital Heart Disease (CCHD) is mandatory in Texas since September 1, 2014. House Bill 740, 83rd Legislature Regular Session, 2013, added CCHD to the required Texas newborn screening panel. The Texas Department of State Health Services (DSHS) developed Texas Administrative Code rules for CCHD screening located in Chapter 37 §37.75 – 37.79 (PDF).

Birthing facilities, hospitals, and physicians can use the CCHD toolkit to assist with implementing CCHD screening. Learn more about CCHD including viewing the CCHD reporting form and frequently asked questions.  


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.state.tx.us 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.state.tx.us 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.state.tx.us


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 October 17, 2016