Newborn Screening

Newborn screening identifies biochemical or other inherited conditions that may produce mental retardation, other disabilities, or even possibly death.  Babies are screened for these conditions during the newborn period.  These conditions are identified using tests on blood collected from a heel stick and transferred onto filer paper.


Over 300 gene disorders can be traced to specific biochemical defects referred to as inborn errors of metabolism, and many of these disorders result in mental retardation.  A specific intervention is possible that may prevent brain damage in about one-third of the identified gene disorders.  However, because many disorders are extremely rare and screening all newborns is expensive, mass screening is currently being justified for only a few disorders.


For more information please contact The Michigan Department of Community Health’s Newborn Screening Program at 517-335-9205, or visit them online at


Phone code: 1513

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