Newborn Screening

Saving Lives with a Simple Blood Spot

The Washington State Department of Health, Office of Newborn Screening (NBS) tests all infants born in Washington for a number of rare but treatable disorders using a dried blood spot specimen. Infants with these disorders usually appear healthy at birth and, without screening, the disorders are not likely to be detected and treated in time to prevent death or severe disability. Newborn screening is one of the most successful public health initiatives in the USA. Babies with these disorders can have serious health problems, but screening and early treatment can help our youngest Washingtonians grow up healthy!

For more information about newborn screening in Hawaii and newborn screening in Idaho please Contact WA NBS

Courier Service for NBS Specimen

In 2023, legislation was passed to increase the Newborn Screening (NBS) fee from $119.30 to $135.10. Part of this fee increase will support state funded courier services for first NBS specimens collected in the state of Washington.

Cystic Fibrosis Normal Ranges

Normal ranges for cystic fibrosis are on page 21-24 of NBS Laboratory Follow-up Protocols (PDF)

Processing Delay

NoticeThe Office of Newborn Screening (NBS) is experiencing a delay in processing mailed NBS results.

Newborn Screening CF Algorithm Update

Cystic fibrosis (CF) is a treatable disorder that affects the body’s control of salt levels.  It causes thick, sticky mucus to build up in the lungs, digestive system, and other organs. Affected babies have two CF-causing variants in the CFTR gene, one from each parent. More than 700 gene variants have been described that cause CF.

CF occurs in about one in every 5,400 babies in Washington State. Early detection and treatment have improved digestive problems, growth, and breathing difficulties for more than 250 babies born in Washington State since newborn screening for CF started in 2006.

The Newborn Screening Program and pulmonologists at the Seattle Children’s Hospital CF Center have been collaborating on ways to speed up diagnosis and treatment of babies with CF. On July 1, 2023, we will expand our CF DNA testing protocols. This will identify more babies with CF and do it faster than current methods. Timely diagnostic testing at an accredited CF center is critical for these babies.

The newborn screening follow-up team will contact medical providers to coordinate this testing for the babies with positive results.