Newborn Screening Program

The Newborn Screening Program Area Service Center at Valley Children’s Hospital works to protect and improve the health of all babies born in our 32-county region of California. Under the guidance of the California Department of Public Health, Genetic Disease Screening Program, the California Newborn Screening Program provides early identification and treatment of 80 different genetic and congenital disorders in the following disease groups:

  • Endocrine disorders
    Cause the body to make too many or too little or certain hormones
  • Hemoglobin disorders
    Affect the hemoglobin in red blood cells, and may cause anemia and other symptoms
  • Metabolic disorders
    Affect the body's ability to use certain parts of food for growth, energy and repair
  • Cystic Fibrosis
    Can lead to infections, malnutritions and lung damage
  • Severe Combined Immune Deficiency (SCID or "Bubble Boy disease")
    Causes little or no immune system, so the body is unable to adequately fight infections

California state law requires that all babies must have the Newborn Screening (NBS) Test before leaving the hospital. The test involves collecting a few drops of blood from a newborn’s heel on a piece of filter paper.

Newborn Screening is recognized nationally as an essential preventive public health measure because early detection allows newborns to be treated sooner, which prevents severe developmental delays or other serious effects related to untreated disease. Some of these diseases can even be fatal if not detected early and treated appropriately.