Newborn Screening Program
Some hospitals and birthing facilities are wondering how to handle newborn hearing screening for newborns who are being treated as PUI (Patient Under Investigation) while inpatient, and if it is safe to screen the baby with hospital equipment. Due to the constantly changing circumstances of the pandemic, PA EHDI recommends that each hospital work directly with their infection control team to determine whether it is safe to conduct hearings. PA EHDI asks that you stress the importance of following up on the hearing screening as soon as it is safely possible; extra patient education is critical to ensuring parents understand that a newborn hearing screening is still an essential screening for their baby's well-being.
The next Newborn Screening and Follow-up Technical Advisory Board meeting will be held on Thursday, March 9, 2023.
About Newborn Screening
Newborn screening in Pennsylvania is completed to ensure every newborn is tested for metabolic, endocrine, hemoglobin, heart disease and hearing loss. The majority of these diseases are genetic and the testing performed identifies babies with certain disorders which, without intervention, may permanently impact newborns and their families. Early recognition and treatment of most of these disorders leads to a better outcome for the newborn.
The Newborn Screening Program's goal is to eliminate or reduce mortality, morbidity and disabilities by screening and treatment of the disorders included in the Pennsylvania Newborn Screening Panel so as to help affected babies live as long and normal of a life as possible.
We work closely with health care providers to ensure newborns with abnormal test results receive appropriate confirmatory diagnoses and treatment. The Department of Health works closely with several
treatment centers in the state.
No test is perfect. If your newborn's health care provider suspects there is a problem or your newborn does not seem right despite a normal newborn screening result, your newborn may need further testing.
Where can I get more information?
If you have questions about your baby's newborn screening results contact your baby's health care provider or call the Pennsylvania Department of Health's Newborn Screening and Follow-Up Program at 717-783-8143.