Just 4 years ago, only a third of all infants born in the United States were required to undergo screening tests to determine whether they had acquired any of a multitude of conditions. Now, all states and the District of Columbia have enacted rules or regulations requiring newborn screening for at least 21 disorders including genetic, metabolic, hormonal and functional disorders. The screening is important to detect the presence of such birth defects and birth injuries because many have no visible symptoms until after permanent damage has developed. Early detection allows for timely treatment, which can prevent permanent injuries such as brain damage and mental retardation from occurring. If you are interested in learning more about newborn screening and the disorders that it can detect, the March of Dimes is an excellent resource.
Read more about the newborn screening requirements here.