Saving Babies with Texas Newborn Screening

When a baby is sick, every minute counts. Newborn Screening (NBS) Clinical Care Coordination staff work six days a week, including holidays, protecting Texas babies. Newborn screening is one of the most important things done for a newborn baby’s health. Most babies with screened disorders look healthy at birth. The only way to detect a dangerous disorder is through screening. 

Tests are done using drops of blood taken from a baby’s heel and placed on a card. The card is sent to the Texas Department of State Health Services (DSHS) Public Health Laboratory for testing. The screening test can detect medical conditions that, if not addressed early, would cause serious problems like developmental delays, major illness or death. Babies with abnormal newborn screens require immediate care. 

Blood Spot Tests Are Done Twice
Every baby born in Texas gets two newborn screening blood tests that check for 55 rare disorders. The first test is done 24 to 48 hours after birth. The second one is done at the baby’s first well baby checkup at one to two weeks old.

Lab results are sent to NBS Clinical Care Coordination staff who call the infant’s physician or other health care provider, so the baby gets follow-up care without delay. The staff works diligently during the first weeks of an infant’s life to get babies the care they need.

Newborn Screening Testing: For Your Baby’s Health

Timely newborn screening and response saves babies’ lives. Make sure your baby is tested. Ask your doctor for the results and respond quickly if your doctor asks you to bring your baby in for more testing. Learn more about why newborn screening testing is important.