Newborn Screening Reference Manual for Medical Providers
The Alabama Newborn Screening Program is pleased to offer the Newborn Screening Reference Manual for Medical Providers 2012 (9.6 MB) which contains valuable information regarding newborn screening to include the American College of Medical Genetics ACT sheets, which provide short term actions a health professional should follow in communicating with the family and determining the appropriate steps in the follow-up of an infant that has screened positive.
Alabama Department of Public Health Bureau of Clinical Laboratories
The Alabama Bureau of Clinical Laboratories performs all newborn screening tests in the state and should be contacted regarding specimen collection or filter forms. If more specimen kits are needed, please complete and submit the Reorder Form. Please see the Newborn Screening Blood Collection Guidelines (1MB) for instructions regarding specimen collection.
Newborn screening results may be obtained using the Alabama Voice Response System (AVRS). Please check the AVRS if you are unsure about previous screening results. If you are not registered with AVRS, please complete the AVRS Registration Form.
Please be sure your contact information remains current with the state lab. You may update it by completing the Newborn Screening Provider Update form.
Alabama Implements Screening for Critical Congenital Heart Disease (CCHD)
The Alabama Department of Public Health convened a work group of professionals on November 29, 2011, and on December 13, 2011, in order to discuss recommended procedures and develop guidance for implementing universal pulse oximetry screening to detect CCHD in Alabama. The work group included pediatric cardiologists, neonatologists, pediatricians, parent advocates, insurance representatives, hospital personnel, and representatives from the American Heart Association, the Alabama Hospital Association, the Medical Association, and the Alabama Chapter of the American Academy of Pediatrics. The Alabama Newborn Screening Program mailed out the Hospital Guidelines for Implementing Pulse Oximetry Screening (6MB) in March 2012 to all birthing facilities in the state.
In June 2013, CCHD was officially added to the Alabama Newborn Screening Panel. However, many hospitals had voluntarily began screening in 2012. According to Dr. Wally F. Caro, M.D., Division of Pediatric Cardiology at the University of Alabama at Birmingham, "As we move ahead with pulse oximetry screening, many hurdles remain. We need to ensure reporting of failed screens to Public Health and implement data tracking and quality assurance methods. I applaud the efforts of the Alabama Department of Public Health, hospitals around the state, and others for their efforts, which are benefitting our state's infants."
Obstetric Provider Information
The American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists published an article, Newborn Screening and the Obstetrician, which recommends as a best practice to educate parents about the importance of newborn screening for heritable and congenital disorders prior to delivery. According to the authors of this article, obstetric providers should, at some time during pregnancy, review the basic process of newborn screening with parents to prepare them for newborn screening in the neonatal period. In addition, it is encouraged that verbal discussion and distribution of written materials be incorporated.
Obstetric providers have a significant role to inform expectant parents that newborn screening is routine and can save lives. Below are some resources available for obstetric providers.