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Update: Suggested Recommendations for Timeliness in Newborn Screening

March 2015

The recommendations found below have been finalized by the Advisory Committee for Heritable Disorders in Newborns and Children (ACHDNC) Laboratory Standards and Procedures Subcommittee. Approval was finalized by ACHDNC in February 2015.

The recommendations for timeliness in newborn screening (NBS) are as follows: 

  1. Presumptive positive results for time-critical conditions should immediately be reported to the child’s healthcare provider and no later than 5 days of life.
  2. All presumptive positive results for time sensitive conditions should be reported to the healthcare provider as soon as possible but no later than 7 days of life.
  3. All NBS results should be reported within 7 days of life (the “normal” screening results).
  4. In order to achieve these goals (and reduce delays in newborn screening):
    • Initial NBS specimens should be collected in the appropriate time frame for the baby’s condition but no later than 48 hours after birth.
    • NBS specimens should be received at the Laboratory as soon as possible; ideally within 24 hours of collection.