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Louisiana Newborn Screening Program
The Louisiana Newborn Screening program works to diagnose and treat genetic and metabolic disorders as early as possible.The panel includes screening for disorders recommended by the American College of Medical Genetics (ACMG). Finding and treating these disorders early helps prevent disabilities, and allows for people with the disorders to get the help they need early in life. The Newborn Screening panel is required by Louisiana law.
The Newborns Screening program oversees the screening process by doing the following:
- Overseeing the administration of blood tests (heel stick screening) for all children born in Louisiana. If a baby screens positive for a genetic or metabolic disorder, the program connects the family with necessary providers.
- Performing cytogenetic and biochemical genetics lab testing to provide a diagnosis for disorders listed on the screening.
- Connecting people and families to special medical care when necessary.
Frequently Asked Questions about Newborn Screening
What is Newborn Screening?
A blood sample is taken from every newborn before they leave the hospital. The baby's heel is pricked and a few drops of blood are collected. Then, the sample is sent to a laboratory for testing.
Why is Newborn Screening performed?
The goal of newborn screening is to detect genetic, metabolic or congenital disorders that are present at the time of birth. Children with these disorders usually look normal when they are born – you can’t tell if they have the disorder without a blood test. If a disorder is found and treated early, it is often possible to prevent physical or mental disabilities or early death.
Which disorders are included in the test?
The Newborn Screening Program screens for disorders recommended by the American College of Medical Genetics (ACMG). For more information on the types of disorders included in the screening, view the Newborn Screening Panel page.
How will I get the results?
Your baby's doctor will receive a report with the test results within 2 weeks. The doctor will be able to review the results with you at baby's first visit.
What does an “abnormal result” mean?
An abnormal screening test result means that a baby may have a disease or disorder - it does not always mean that a baby definitely has the disease. Babies with abnormal results need more testing to be done to find out if they truly have the disorder. If other tests confirm the diagnosis, the baby may need special care. Your baby’s doctor will refer you to a specialist if this is the case.
What is Krabbe Disease?
Krabbe Disease (also known as Globoid Cell Leukodystrohpy) is an inherited disorder that destroys the protective coating of nerve cells in the brain and throughout the nervous system. Krabbe Disease is not included on the newborn screening panel, but you can click here to learn more about the disease and find out who to call to request a screening.
Newborn Screening Resources for Healthcare Professionals
- Newborn Screening Panel page
- Secured Remote Viewer Web Based System (SRV): Instructions (revised 7.14.21) and Registration form (revised 7.16.21)
- Laboratory filter paper collection and instructions
- American College of Medical Genetics (ACMG) ACT Sheets and Algorithms
- Recommendations for premature, low birth weight, or sick infants
- Mailing Address for the Office of Public Health State Laboratory:
Office of Public Health State Laboratory
1209 Leesville Avenue
Baton Rouge, La 70802