Newborn Screening Information for Hospitals

Rhode Island screens newborns for 29 conditions, including hearing loss. Newborn screening is mandated for all babies born in Rhode Island.

What You Should Do

For every hospital birth, your hospital is required to:

  • Know both the HIV status and hepatitis B surface antigen (HBsAg) status of the mother. Follow the hospital protocol for HIV positive pregnant women. Report hepatitis B positive cases to the motherís physician, nursery staff, and the hospitalís infection control department.
  • Collect a newborn screening bloodspot specimen 24-48 hours after the birth.
  • Inform the parents of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommendation that all babies receive hepatitis B vaccine and vaccinate the newborn as appropriate.
  • Inform the parents of the newborn hearing screening requirement and have the babyís hearing screened before the baby is discharged.
  • Provide the parents with the Newborn Screening and Services brochure. Include the babyís hearing screening results in this brochure.
  • Talk to the parents about the benefits of the First Connections home visiting program. Offer to arrange a home visit for them.
  • If the parents refuse to have their baby receive any or all of the required newborn screenings (bloodspot or hearing) or the hepatitis B vaccine, have the parents sign a refusal of consent form. (bloodspot hearing hepatitis B sweat test pulse oximetry) Parents may refuse to have their babies screened or vaccinated if it conflicts with their religious beliefs.
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