Newborn Screening Tests

Baby's Foot

What is Newborn Bloodspot Screening?

Maine's Newborn Bloodspot Screening Program helps parent's find out if a baby has certain health conditions. Babies with these conditions may look healthy at birth. If not treated, these conditions can cause health problems such as mental retardation, slow growth, and even death. With treatment, these problems may be prevented.

How is my baby tested?

All of the tests are done on a few drops of blood taken by pricking your baby's heel. The blood is allowed to dry on a piece of special filter paper, which is sent to a screening laboratory for testing.

Heal prick from baby's foot
Blood spot on baby's foot
Applying blood to special filter paper

The blood sample is usually take on the day of discharge from the hospital or at 1 to 2 days of life. If your baby is born at home, a blood sample should be taken by 3 days of age.

A blood sample take before 24 hours of age may not give complete results. If the sample was taken early, it is very important to have another test before your baby is 7 days old.

For more answers to your question on Newborn Bloodspot Screening:

You can check out our Newborn Screening Booklet (PDF*)and the List of Conditions (PDF*) we screen for or you can contact us.