The Missouri Newborn Screening Program would like to extend our extreme gratitude for all healthcare workers responding to the COVID-19 crisis. We understand that the crisis has called for unprecedented adjustments to patient care. All newborn screening laws, rules, and recommendations remain unchanged. Please ensure that all babies receive blood spot, hearing, and critical congenital heart disease screening. Newborn screening is most complete and reliable when done after the baby is 24 hours of age. If baby must be discharged before 24 hours of life, please collect blood spot screening regardless of age but prior to leaving the hospital. Assist parents in scheduling a repeat screen as soon as they may safely visit a collection site. If current hospital COVID-19 policies prevent hearing screening, please help parents schedule a hearing screening as soon as safely possible. Early diagnosis and intervention is critical for babies with conditions identified through newborn screening. Additional information for parents about COVID-19 can be found at Coronavirus (COVID-19): What Can You Do?



Newborn screening refers to screenings performed on newborns shortly after birth to protect them from the serious effects of disorders that otherwise may not be detected for several days, months, or even years. Missouri law requires all babies born in the state to be screened for over 70 different disorders. While most of these disorders are screened by collecting a small amount of blood from the newborn's heel, there are also two point of care screenings included in Missouri's Newborn Screening Program. These include newborn hearing screening and critical congenital heart disease screening. The goal of the Newborn Screening Program is to prevent serious health problems through early screening.