About Newborn Metabolic Screening for Your Baby

When your baby is 48 hours/two days old, you will be offered the newborn metabolic screening (Guthrie test).

This is a simple heel prick test done by a nurse or midwife where a small blood sample is collected onto a blood spot card. It can be done in hospital, birth centre or at your home. Their blood is then sent to a laboratory to be screened for 28 rare metabolic disorders.

The conditions the test currently screens for are:

  • amino acid disorders
  • fatty acid oxidation disorders
  • congenital hypothyroidism
  • cystic fibrosis
  • congenital adrenal hyperplasia
  • galactosaemia
  • biotinidase deficiency
  • severe combined immunodeficiency

If you choose to take this test and your baby is found to have any of these conditions, they will be able to have treatment early, before they become sick. Your LMC will discuss your baby’s results with you and provide you with further information and next steps if a positive result is found for any of the conditions.

For more information on the newborn metabolic screening, see the Ministry of Health website.