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Testing and Reporting for NBS

Lab Test

Obtaining Test Results


A written report of newborn screening results is mailed to the hospital of birth and the clinician listed on the screening card, provided that this information was filled in. Authorized providers can access newborn screening results on-line through the State Electronic Notification Surveillance System (SendSS). Results are also available through eReports web portal.

This section provides additional details on the lab testing, methods for obtaining test results and instructions for responding to requests for re-screening.  Results for specimens received after July 11, 2011 to the present are available through the eReports web portal at https://services.georgia.gov/dph/eReports/.

Lab Test

Sample Acceptability/Unsatisfactory Specimens

When testing a sample, the Laboratory makes four 1/8" punches from each "circle". Therefore, it is necessary that blood fills up the entire circle and soaks through the filter paper but does not alter the homogeneity of the filter paper surface. Prior to testing, all specimens are inspected for acceptability. Those not acceptable are reported as"UNSATISFACTORY - PLEASE RESUBMIT." When a specimen is declared "unsatisfactory", the hospital and clinician listed on the screening card are promptly notified. Submitting invalid specimens lead to the inconvenience of retesting and delays in screening, placing the newborn at risk for delayed diagnosis of a screened condition. THE INFANT MUST BE RE-SCREENED AS SOON AS POSSIBLE. It is the responsibility of the birth hospital and the listed clinician to retrieve the newborn for a repeat collection.

Currently, specimens that are declared "unsatisfactory" are tested if there is blood on the screening card. If an abnormal result is found, in the interest of the child, it is reported to the appropriate follow-up program but no other results are reported.

Categories of Unsatisfactory Specimens

  • QNS – quantity of blood not sufficient for testing
  • Unevenly Saturated –  blood has not completely filled the circle and/or soaked through the filter paper from front to back
  • Oversaturated –  excessive application of blood; repeated layering of blood; applying blood to both sides of the filter paper
  • Roughed Up –  excessive handling of the specimen card; drying the specimen with heat
  • Capillary Application –  uneven application of blood from a capillary tube; tearing the filter paper with the capillary tube
  • Crumpled –  excessive blood application that results in clumps/clots/retraction of the filter paper (Appears as though filter paper was put in water and then dried)
  • Contaminated – excessive squeezing of the puncture site produces serous fluid; filter paper in contact with: alcohol/antiseptic solution, hand lotion or powder, food or water
  • Obsolete form –  out of date filter paper form. (Check expiration date printed on green top sheet of specimen card)
  • Delayed – specimen received by the laboratory 7 days after the date of collection
  • No Blood – no blood on the filter paper
  • Insufficient Information – failure to complete form
  • Invalid Data – data on form cannot be true (e.g., date of collection prior to date of birth)
  • Illegible Data – data entry staff cannot read submitter’s writing
  • Blood reattached to form – filter paper with blood is stapled or reattached to the form. Does the blood specimen belong to this baby? (If you are certain that you have reattached the blood spot to the correct baby, attach a letter of verification and send to the laboratory with the specimen.)

Specimen Analysis

All specimens are tested by the primary screening method. Abnormal results are then confirmed in duplicate and, if necessary, a second confirmation test is done. Screening results are usually available 2-3 working days after the specimen is received by the newborn screening lab. Results for specimens labeled as a "Requested repeat" are usually available in 1-2 working days.

Reporting Results

A written report of all newborn screening results is mailed to the hospital of birth and the clinician listed on the screening card, if this information is included.

Depending on the disorder, abnormal results may be reported as:

  • "Above normal limits" with a value given
  • "Below normal limits" with a value given
  • "Inconclusive"
  • "Positive"

For abnormal hemoglobin results, the hemoglobin type is given with a brief explanation. All abnormal results are reported to the appropriate Follow-up Program.

Obtaining Test Results

The Georgia Public Health Laboratory will mail laboratory results to specimen submitters.

Authorized providers can access “unofficial” newborn screening results through the State Electronic Notification Surveillance System (SendSS). This web-based system enables registered providers to access screening test results 24 hours a day/7 days a week. To ensure confidentiality and security, a username and password that the provider chooses at registration is required to access the system. To register for SendSS, visit https://sendss.state.ga.us/sendss/login.screen.

After filling out this form, mail to:

Newborn Screening Laboratory (VRS Enrollment)
Georgia Public Health Laboratory
1749 Clairmont Road
Decatur, GA 30033-4050

Once you are registered with the system, screening results for any child born in the State of Georgia can be accessed using the newborn screening form number. Call 404-321-2293 or 404-321-2294 or 404-321-2297 and follow the voice prompts to gain access and to obtain test results.

If you have questions, please call 404-327-7950.

The hospitals, public health clinics, and physicians' offices may receive a request, by phone and letter, to collect a specimen for repeat testing.

  1. When submitting a specimen for repeat testing:

    • Give the complete information requested on the form. Make certain all copies are legible.

    • Give the name of the physician, hospital, or public health clinic that should receive the result and will be responsible for follow up on the infant.

  2. When collecting a repeat specimen, please check the appropriate boxes on the form: " RETEST – Prior Unsatisfactory" or "Retest – Prior Abnormal (REQUESTED BY STATE LAB)".

Examples:

  1. The first test was unsatisfactory. Check " RETEST – Prior Unsatisfactory".
  2. The infant's first screen was collected too early, Check " RETEST – Prior Unsatisfactory".
  3. The infant is premature or low birth weight. Check " RETEST – Prior Unsatisfactory".
  4. The infant had a previous abnormal test result. Check "Retest - Prior Abnormal (REQUESTED BY STATE LAB)".
  5. If the repeat specimen is being collected due to an early collection, please write “<24” in the box after “Prior Unsatisfactory”.
  6. If the repeat specimen is being collected due to premature or low birth weight, please write “LBW” in the box after “Prior Unsatisfactory”.