This is a test done on all babies for several diseases that are treatable if detected early in life. Although the diseases are rare, many of them can cause mental retardation and the baby will not show signs or symptoms until the damage is already done. This is why it is so important to detect them while the baby is still very young. All states have newborn screening programs and all babies should have a Metabolic Screening Test done in the hospital prior to discharge.
If the baby was discharged after 24 hours of age, the test will only need to be repeated if your doctor or the state lab request you to do so.
If the baby was discharged before he/she was 24 hours old the test must be repeated within 7 days at the pediatrician’s office. Please call for an appointment at least 24 hours in advance.
Infants who were on antibiotics in the hospital, or who were less than 5 lbs. when they were born, will need to have their Metabolic Screening Test repeated. Your doctor will tell you when is the best time to repeat the test.
You may receive a phone call from the pediatrician’s office or from the state lab requesting that the Metabolic Screening Test be repeated. It is important that you bring the baby in within one to two days to repeat the test.