States South Carolina
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 bloodspot screening is a panel of laboratory tests that checks for health conditions in newborn babies, preferably before physical symptoms of illness appear. All babies are tested soon after birth for several genetic and metabolic disorders. Tests are done on a small sample of blood taken from the baby’s heel and placed on a spot on a specimen card. The dried blood spot is sent to the DHEC Public Health Laboratory, Newborn Screening Section for testing.
If the results of the screening indicate the need for additional testing, the DHEC Newborn Screening (NBS) Program will contact the primary healthcare provider(s) and a medical specialist, if indicated. Identifying a potential condition in a baby as soon as possible can lead to early treatment, which gives the baby the best chance for a healthy life.
South Carolina law requires newborn screening, except for religious reasons submitted in writing. 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 birthing facility the name of the doctor who will be taking care of your baby, so 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” or needs to be repeated, do not panic. Abnormal results alert doctors of the need for additional testing to determine if your baby has a condition. Thus, following up with your doctor is very important, and should be done as soon as possible.
How is Newborn Screening Paid for in South Carolina?
Policies and Resources
By law, all newborns must participate in newborn screening, unless parents object on religious grounds in writing. If parents decline to participate, they must complete the departmental religious objection form. This form should be placed in the infant’s medical file with a copy given to the parents and a copy sent to the Newborn Screening Program.
Support for families:
One concern families may have when they find out their baby has a condition identified by newborn screening is how to locate resources for the best care possible. While it may be overwhelming to know where to start, DHEC can help. In coordination with the Newborn Screening and Metabolic Formula Programs, the Division of Children with Special Health Care Needs (CSHCN) operates many programs (such as the Sickle Cell Program and Hearing Program) to assist qualified families of children with selected chronic illnesses and disabilities. These programs provide financial support for medical services and linkage to specialized medical care.
Services are available through offices in each DHEC public health administrative region. For more information, contact your county health department, Call the 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 tested for all of South Carolina’s newborn screening 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.
On occasion, residual dried blood spots may be shared with newborn screening programs in other state public health laboratories for quality improvement purposes. The baby’s personal information will not be shared; only test results will be shared along with the residual dried blood spots.
By regulation, the department is required to store all medical records, 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.
Violation of the state newborn screening statutes is a misdemeanor punishable by up to $50,000 and 3 years of imprisonment.