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Indiana State Department of Health

Genomics Program Home > Newborn Screening home Newborn Screening home

What is newborn screening?

Newborn screening is a special set of tests that help identify babies who are at risk for certain conditions. A newborn baby may look healthy, but can have a serious condition that cannot be seen. These conditions can be treated if found early.

Indiana's newborn screening law requires that every baby born in Indiana be tested for 47 conditions (including sickle cell anemia, cystic fibrosis, hearing loss, and critical congenital heart disease). Newborn screening must be done before the baby leaves the hospital. Babies born at home must have newborn screening within one week of birth.

How is newborn screening done?

Before every baby goes home from the nursery, he or she has a small amount of blood taken from his or her heel. This is called a heelstick. The blood from the heelstick is used to test for a specific group of conditions. If anything concerning is found, the Newborn Screening Laboratory contacts the baby’s doctor. 

All babies also receive a hearing test to identify possible hearing loss. This is called the Universal Newborn Hearing Screening (UNHS).  For more information about UNHS or hearing loss, please click here.

Beginning in 2012, all babies born in Indiana also have a test to look for critical congenital heart disease (also called CCHD).  This test is called the pulse oximetry test.  For more information about pulse oximetry or CCHD, please click here.

Click here to view Indiana's newborn screening brochure.

Click here to view Indiana's newborn screening brochure in Spanish.

For more information about newborn screening, please click on one of the links below.

Heelstick Sickle Cell

Pulse Oximetry Screening

Cystic Fibrosis Early Hearing Detection & Intervention

Mission of the ISDH Newborn Screening Program

  • Ensure that every newborn in Indiana receives state-mandated screening for all designated genetic conditions.
  • Maintain a centralized program to follow up and ensure that infants who test positive for screened condition(s) receive appropriate diagnosis and treatment and that their parents receive genetic counseling.
  • Promote genetic services, public awareness, and education concerning genetic conditions.

Click here to read Indiana’s newborn screening law.

Click here (en español) to read the HIPAA Notice of Privacy Practice for the ISDH Newborn Screening Program.

Newborn Screening Laboratory

For more information about newborn screening, please visit the National Newborn Screening & Genetics Resource Center by clicking here.

Newborn Screening Resources

For more information about newborn screening, please click on one of the links below.

For a list of resources for families of children with a newborn screening condition, please click here.