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Newborn Screening Frequently Asked Questions

Yawning Baby

The following frequently asked questions have been created to help answer any questions you may have about newborn screening.

If you have additional questions, your doctor or your baby's doctor will be able to provide more assistance.

If you are a healthcare provider and have questions about ordering supplies, collecting specimens, transporting specimens to the lab or results send an email to us at cdphe.lab@state.co.us.



A newborn screening test is a simple and safe blood test which looks for disorders that are rare, but very serious.


Newborn babies who have these disorders look healthy, but babies with some of these disorders will get very sick or die just a few days or weeks after they are born. Other disorders can cause a child to be mentally retarded.


The newborn screening test helps find babies with these disorders early, so they can get medical treatment before they get sick.


State law requires that all babies born in Colorado have a newborn screening test.


Parents have the right to refuse screening, but should keep in mind that newborn screening is safe and simple and one of the most important things you can do to protect your newborn baby's health.


Insurance or Medicaid pays for the test.


Your baby will be tested two times.


Your newborn baby must be tested before your baby goes home from the hospital.


If newborn babies have to stay in the hospital for awhile after they are born, or if your baby was delivered by a midwife, the baby must be screened before they are three days old.


All babies get a second newborn screening test when they are one to two weeks old.


Some disorders might be missed because the first newborn screen was done so soon after birth.


The second newborn screening test is for your baby's safety. It can find a disorder that was missed on the first screen.


A few drops of blood are taken from your baby's heel and put on a special paper. The paper is sent to the state public health laboratory for testing.


The state public health lab will give the results of your baby's test to the hospital, your baby's doctor or your midwife.


It will take about two weeks for the results to be reported.


However, if the results are "not normal", your baby's doctor or your midwife will be notified by phone immediately.


If your baby's newborn screening test result is not normal, it means your baby needs more testing.

Many healthy babies have newborn screening results that are not normal.

Your midwife or doctor will tell you how to get the testing your baby needs. Your baby might need to see a specialist. Get any additional testing your baby needs right away!


There are no cures for these disorders, but if these disorders are found and these babies get treatment early, the serious problems caused by these disorders can be prevented or reduced.


If babies with these disorders get early and continuous treatment, most can grow and develop normally and live healthy lives.


The following web links provide useful information for expectant or new parents:



Hospital staff and your baby's doctor can answer questions you have about newborn screening.


You may also contact :
The CDPHE Health Care Program for Children with Special Needs
Phone: (303) 692-2370
E-mail: cdphe.psdrequests@state.co.us