Virginia's Newborn Screening Program is a partnership between DCLS and the Virginia Department of Health to screen each baby born in Virginia for certain rare yet serious metabolic and genetic disorders. Babies with these disorders look healthy at birth but can suffer devastating consequences, even death, if the disorder goes untreated.
Newborn screening, which Virginia first mandated in 1966, is required by law for all babies born in the Commonwealth. Five drops of blood taken from a baby's heel allows scientists to check for 29 disorders that range from the well-known Cystic Fibrosis to the relatively obscure Maple Syrup Urine Disease. The effects of these disorders and others can be treated and problems prevented if they are detected early.
DCLS receives about 120,000 samples and performs more than 4 million newborn screening tests a year. Operating six days a week, including most holidays, DCLS provides a rapid turn-around time with most test results released within 24 hours. To ensure the timely and safe arrival of the samples they handle, DCLS provides a courier service to pick up samples from hospitals and birthing centers throughout the state.
The Virginia Department of Health's newborn screening staff follows-up on abnormal test results for more than 20,000 infants each year, making sure that babies with the most critical test results are referred to the specialty care they need. DCLS can perform repeat tests on infants up to 6 months of age.
Newborn Screening Information
DCLS screens each baby born in Virginia for the following disorders:
Argininosuccinic Aciduria (ASA)
Beta-Ketothiolase Deficiency (BKT)
Biotinidase Deficiency (BIOT)
Carnitine Uptake Deficiency (CUD)
Congenital Adrenal Hyperplasia (CAH)
Cystic Fibrosis (CF)
Glutaric Acidemia Type I (GA-1)
Isovaleric Acidemia (IVA)
Long Chain Hydroxyacy-CoA Dehyrogenase Deficiency (LCHADD)
Maple Syrup Urine Disease (MSUD)
Medium Chain Acyl -CoA Dehydrogenase Deficiency (MCAD)
Methylmalonyl Adenosyl-Cobalamine Synthesis Defects (Cbl A& B)
Methylcrotonyl-CoA Carboxylase Deficiency (3MCC)
Methylmalonyl-CoA Mutase Deficiency (MUT)
Multiple CoA Carboxylase Deficiency (MCD)
Propionic Acidemia (PROP)
Severe Combined Immunodeficiency (SCID)
Tri-functional Protein Deficiency (TFP Deficiency)
Tyrosinemia I (TYR I)
Very Long Chain Acyl-CoA Dehydrogenase Deficiency (VLCADD)
3-Hydroxy-3Methylglutaryl-COA Lyase Deficiency (HMG)
By policy of the Division of Consolidated Laboratory Services:
- Virginia does not use retained blood spot samples for any purpose other than those for which it was originally intended
- DCLS does not retain samples indefinitely; those for infants with normal screen results are retained for six months, and samples that yielded abnormal results are retained for 10 years.
- Samples are retained in case it needs to be retested to verify or disprove the original results.
- All samples are held in a secure location, with access restricted to only authorized personnel until their destruction date.
- Samples are destroyed by microwave/incineration.
- Samples are never released without notarized, written parental consent.
- Samples are never released for or used for research purposes or for inclusion in other databases.
Newborn Screening Release: DCLS will provide copies of patient reports to citizens as required by The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services. Please print the following documents and submit the request to DCLS to receive a copy of your test results report.
Authorization and Consent for the Release of Medical Records - Instructions
Authorization and Consent for the Release of Medical Records
Sickle Cell Screening Release: Requests for sickle cell screening results in response to NCAA requirements for college athletes must be submitted using the DCLS release form provided below. Please note that these releases will require the signature of the student (or parent if student is a minor) AND the signature and stamp of a notary to insure the authentication of the request. Release forms can be sent to DCLS by mail at the address provided on the form or faxed to 804-225-2595. Please allow two weeks for processing.
- Parent Brochure
- Virginia Laws and Regulations
- Virginia Department of Health Newborn Screening Services
- The Newborn Screening Education Program
- Centers for Disease Control and Prevention Newborn Screening
- The Newborn Screening Technical Assistance and Evaluation Program (NewSTEPs)
- New York/Mid-Atlantic Consortium for Genetic and Newborn Screening Services
- Baby's First Test
- Saving Babies Through Screening Foundation
Newborn Screening kits may only be ordered by hospitals, midwives, and physicians' offices. They may not be ordered by private citizens. Find more information on our Sample Kit Ordering page.