Newborn health screenings can help find potential health problems in your baby early in life when they are most treatable. Wisconsin law requires neonatal screenings for all newborns before they leave the hospital. In addition, St. Joseph’s Hospital routinely conducts hearing screenings.
Neonatal Screening in Wisconsin
Wisconsin law requires all newborns to be screened for health disorders before they leave the hospital. This is conducted by collecting several drops of blood from the baby’s heel. Your baby’s doctor will receive a report with the test results and will tell you what they are.
The pamphlet “Wisconsin Newborn Screening Program,” provided with our prenatal educational materials, explains the screening. As a parent, you may refuse newborn screening only if your religious beliefs and practices do not allow this testing. Please read the pamphlet. You will be asked to sign the Newborn Screening Acknowledgment and Agreement form after the delivery of your baby.
If you have questions, comments or suggestions about the Newborn Screening Program, call Division of Public Health Bureau of Community Health Promotion at 608-266-8904 or visit them online.
Early identification of hearing loss is critical for the normal development of speech and language. Hearing impairment is the most common birth defect and one of the most treatable. St. Joseph’s Hospital screens every newborn for hearing loss. The brief screening is done before you leave the hospital at a time when your baby is quiet. The test is completely noninvasive. Most babies sleep through it!