minnesota newborn screening program
Communicating to Parents about Newborn Screening
Minnesota Statutes §144.125 Subd. 3 and §144.966 Subd. 3 require birth hospitals and persons with a duty to perform testing to provide information to parents about newborn screening and allow parents the opportunity to ask questions.
To offer the best care to the infants born in your facility and to inform parents of their rights under the law, the Minnesota Department of Health Newborn Screening Program recommends taking the following steps:
- Review the Newborn Screening Fact Sheet with parents. It is available free from the Newborn Screening Program and can be ordered by calling 800-664-7772. Document in the medical record that you discussed newborn screening and were available to answer questions from the parent.
- Tell parents that their infant’s newborn screening specimen and hearing screening results will be sent to the Minnesota Department of Health. Unless directed otherwise by the parents, the newborn screening program destroys the remaining blood spot after 71 days for negative test results and 24 months for blood spots with positive results. All results will be destroyed after 24 months.
- Inform parents that they can decline to have their infant screened. Inform them of associated risks:
- Babies can die or become developmentally delayed as a result of not being screened.
- Children with the diseases screened for or with hearing loss often appear healthy at birth
- By the time symptoms do appear, damage can be irreversible.
- An affected child who is not screened may not receive treatment needed to prevent developmental delay, illness, or death.
- Tell parents that if they decline to have their infant screened, the choice will be recorded and documented in their infant’s medical record and documented with the Minnesota Department of Health.
Fact sheets about newborn screening in a variety of languages are found at the following sites:Updated Wednesday, 01-Aug-2012 09:37:13 CDT