In this Section:
What conditions are screened for in South Carolina?
Amino Acid Disorders
Fatty Acid Oxidation Disorders
Organic Acid Conditions
About Newborn Screening in South Carolina
Newborn screening is a blood test that checks for hidden health conditions in newborn babies. All babies are tested soon after birth for several genetic and chemical problems. Tests are done on a small sample of the baby’s blood. This blood is taken by pricking baby’s heel. The blood is sent to a DHEC laboratory for testing. If a problem is discovered, early treatment can give the baby the best chance for a healthy life.
South Carolina law requires newborn testing. Your doctor will tell you the results at your baby’s first check up. For this reason, it is very important that you choose a doctor for your baby before he or she is born. Next, give the hospital the name of the doctor who will be taking care of your baby so that they can make sure your baby’s doctor is listed on the newborn screening form. All test results will be mailed to that doctor. Results are also mailed to the place where your baby was born. The results are mailed within 14 days after the blood sample is received at the laboratory. If your baby’s doctor contacts you and says your baby’s screen was “abnormal”, do not panic but do follow up with them as soon as possible.
How is Newborn Screening Paid for in South Carolina?
The NBS fee is $68.51 per child. This is billed to the medical provider (hospital, clinic, or physician). It is up to the medical provider to obtain payment.
Policies and Resources
All newborns must participate in newborn screening unless parents object on religious grounds. If parents decline to participate, then they must complete the departmental religious objection form.
Support for families:
One of the concerns families may have when they find out their child has a condition screened for through the newborn screening process is providing them with the best care possible. While it may be overwhelming to know where to start, the Children With Special Health Care Needs program in South Carolina is here to help guide you through the process. The DHEC Division of Children with Special Health Care Needs operates a number of programs to assist families of children with selected chronic illnesses and disabilities. Services are available through offices in each DHEC public health administrative region. For more information, contact your county health department, Call CARELINE (800-868-0404) or contact the Division of Children with Special Health Care Needs directly at 803-898-0784 (voice), 803-898-0613 (fax), or firstname.lastname@example.org.
Storage and Use of Dried Blood Spots:
After your child’s blood has been screened for all of South Carolina’s conditions, there will remain a little bit of blood left on the specimen card. This is called a “residual dried blood spot” and it is stored by the state until no longer needed for testing purposes. After testing is completed, the specimen is destroyed in a scientifically acceptable manner. Residual dried blood spots are typically destroyed at 12 months from the date of collection.
By regulation, the department is required to store all medical records, specifically including newborn screening tests, in an environment that prevents unauthorized access and deterioration. Newborn screening records must be treated as confidential and retained until the screened individual reaches the age of 18 years.
Also, laboratories within the Southeastern region (Alabama, Georgia, Louisiana, Florida, Mississippi, North Carolina, South Carolina, and Tennessee) may exchange blood spot samples from different states.
A violation of the state newborn screening statutes is a misdemeanor punishable by up to $50,000 and 3 years of imprisonment.