September 2014 


 September is Newborn Screening (NBS) Awareness Month


Each year more than 65,000 Wisconsin newborns are tested for 44 serious disorders plus hearing loss and critical congenital heart disease. Wisconsin Newborn Screening saves the lives of nearly 125 babies every year. It is important for parents to ask their baby's health care provider about the results of their baby's NBS test. As our valued partner in NBS, we want to say THANK YOU for working together with the NBS Program to save the lives of Wisconsin babies! You can help promote Newborn Screening Awareness Month. The Wisconsin Newborn Screening Program has developed promotional materials for this special month. For more information about NBS Awareness Month visit  www.slh.wisc.edu/nbs-month.

Alert - Documenting and Reporting Refusals of Newborn Screening

Please click on the link to view and download an important document regarding refusal of newborn screening and reporting of refusals to the State Newborn Screening Program. Please post the attached document in your facility and follow these steps when a family refuses one or more of the newborn screens and for reporting all refusals to the State Newborn Screening Program. Thank you!

 >>>Documenting and Reporting Refusals of Newborn Screening Document Link<<<

Blood Cards and Birth Certificates

  • If the baby had a blood screening performed, enter the child's blood card number in the Blood Card ID field in the State Vital Records Information System (SVRIS).
  • If the family refused newborn blood screening, enter X99999 in the Blood Card ID field on the child's birth certificate worksheet and in SVRIS.

Accurately documenting the Blood Card number or the refusal code helps the Newborn Screening Program ensure that all families are offered blood, hearing and heart newborn screenings for their babies and follow-up when necessary.  

ALERT! Important Information
New Guidelines for Specimen Collection Timing for Extended Stay Infants

This information relates to a recent memo some of you received.

What is the Change?

The new requirement calls for blood spot specimen collection at  24-48 hours of life for all infants.  This new standard replaces the previous guidance that a specimen be collected by the seventh day of life. The change is consistent with national recommendations and has been approved by the Umbrella Committee.
The change should be implemented no later than December 31, 2014.


Information on all blood collection timing guidelines is available at www.slh.wisc.edu/clinical/newborn/health-care-professionals-guide/how-to-collect-a-blood-specimen/when-to-collect-a-blood-specimen/.


For questions regarding this change in timing of specimen collection for infants with extended hospital stays, contact Dr. Mei Baker at (608) 890-1796 or Mei.Baker@slh.wisc.edu  

CCHD has been added to the Newborn Screening Panel
This information relates to a recent memo some of you received.

Screening for Critical Congenital Heart Disease (CCHD) by pulse oximetry (POX) was added to the Wisconsin Newborn Screening Program's panel of conditions by Emergency Rule on July 3, 2014. Every infant born in a hospital is required to have CCHD screening prior to discharge. Babies born out of hospital are also required to be screened.

>>>CCHD Screening Information Update Document Link<<<

If you have questions for the Department of Health Services, contact Sharon Fleischfresser, MD, MPH, Medical Director of the Wisconsin Children and Youth with Special Health Care Needs Program at Sharon.Fleischfresser@wisconsin.gov, 608-266-3674; or Timothy Corden, MD, Chief Medical Officer for the Bureau of Community Health Promotion at Timothy.Corden@wisconsin.gov, 608-266-5818. 

 The Wisconsin State Laboratory of Hygiene has a redesigned website. Please take a look at the Newborn Screening section and send any suggestions for improvement and/or comments to webmaster@slh.wisc.edu.
We look forward to communicating with you further in future e-newsletters.   If you have a printed copy of this newsletter and wish to have a copy of any linked documents, please let us know at

The Wisconsin Newborn Screening Program

In This Issue
Quick Links
Critical Reminder: Blood Sample Collection
> Instructions are included on the back of every blood card.

> Send every Newborn Screening Card no later than 24 hours after the blood draw.

 > Do NOT wait to accumulate several cards in your hospital before shipping.

> Click Here for the latest information on best practices when collecting a blood sample.

NBS Brochures:

Brochures may only be ordered online.  Click here  for instructions and forms.    

Step 1: Complete the  Publication Request Form.  Include the following: 

  •  # of English (P-40125)           brochures
  • # of Spanish (P-40125S)   brochures
  • your shipping address

Typically order size is based on the number of annual births in your hospital.  Large birth facilities can order a 6-month supply.


Step 2: Save the completed form to your computer and email it to the DPH forms manager at dhsfmdphpph@wisconsin.gov


Step 3: Watch for your order to arrive within 10 business days. 

Babies are covered by the umbrella of
Wisconsin's Newborn Screening Program.
Wisconsin's Newborn Screening Program provides follow-up,
resources, and supportive services for families in need.


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