Sickle Cell Testing of College Athletes

According to National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) rules, all Division I, II and III school athletes are required to be tested for the sickle cell trait through hemoglobin electrophoresis testing. Individuals with a sickle cell trait (a single sickle cell gene and one normal gene) typically do not have any symptoms. However, rarely, they may develop serious health problems during extreme physical stress, such as severe dehydration (loss of fluids). Athletes with this trait may need to take special precautions to lower the slight risk of training-related deaths. For more information on this NCAA requirement, please visit the NCAA website

Instructions for Obtaining Sickle Cell Disease/Trait Test Results for Student Athletes Born on or after January 1, 2000

Step 1: Complete Request Form

  • Option A: If the student athlete has a primary care provider (pediatrician, family doctor, etc.), request results by clicking the secure electronic form link below - Click here to Request Sickle Cell Trait Test Results.
    • If you are unable to access the secure electronic form or have any difficulties, please complete the Sickle Cell Test Results Request Form and fax it to 401-222-5688. If you continue to have issues, please contact the Newborn Screening Nurse Coordinator at 401-921-7619.
  • Option B: If the student athlete does NOT have a primary care provider, complete the Newborn Screening Records Release form and fax it to 401-222-5688. With this option, the results will be sent to the student athlete’s health center at their college/university.

Step 2: Results Provided within Five Business Days

Once you complete the form and any needed steps, the Newborn Screening Nurse will fax or securely email your sickle cell test results to your primary care provider or college/university health center within five business days. Results can only be sent to the student’s current primary care provider or college/university health center. They cannot be sent directly to the student or their family. Please contact your current primary care provider or the health center to obtain your results five business days after completing the form.

Due to the large number of requests, RIDOH is unable to confirm receipt of the request or confirm that results were sent to the provider. If it has been more than five business days since you made the request and your provider still has not received the results, please contact the Newborn Screening Nurse at 401-921-7619.

If you were born before January 1, 2000: talk to your primary care provider about hemoglobin electrophoresis testing to determine if you have sickle cell trait. Due to documentation and storage limitations, the Newborn Screening Program cannot provide reliable sickle cell test results. The recommended test can be performed at a clinical laboratory with a physician’s order.