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Northwest Regional Newborn Screening Program

Newborn Screening Saves Lives

The Northwest Regional Newborn Bloodspot Screening (NWRNBS) Program screens newborns for endocrine, hemoglobin, cystic fibrosis and metabolic conditions and identifies those who need immediate treatment. If a baby tests positive for one of these conditions, staff will follow up to ensure they receive appropriate medical care.

These screening tests can prevent developmental problems, mental retardation or death.

 News: New Services June 1, 2022 and Proposed Fee Change 
The Northwest Regional Newborn Bloodspot Program will add Spinal Muscular Atrophy to the screening panel and update the Practitioner's Manual. 
The Program is also proposing a fee change. 

Advisory Board - Northwest Regional Newborn Screening Program
The Advisory Board assists with the modernization of the newborn bloodspot screening program.

Why do babies need newborn blood spot screening?

  • Most babies are healthy when they are born, but we test all babies because a few babies look and act healthy but have a rare health problem.
  • If we find problems early, we can help prevent serious problems like developmental delay, physical disability or death.

How are babies tested?

  • Before newborn babies leave the hospital, a nurse will take a few drops of blood from the baby’s heel and place it on a special paper.
  • The hospital will send the blood samples to the state public health lab. 

What conditions are tested?

  • The state public health lab tests all blood samples for over forty different conditions. We provide a list of conditions in the Practitioner's Manual for your reference.

Accessing or requesting test results

The Oregon State Public Health Laboratory (OSPHL) permits access to test results for patients and healthcare providers, as permitted by law and appropriate for the provider's scope of practice.

Learn how to access OSPHL test results

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