Metabolic and Hearing Screening


The state of Georgia requires that all newborns be tested for genetic issues.  Some parents call this the “PKU” but this is only one of many disorders that can be detected by this screen.  The screen is usually conducted at the 24 hour mark when a hospital birth occurs but that’s because the baby is there and it’s convenient.  However, it is important for the test to be done in the first week of life as some of the disorders can affect the baby early and need to be addressed.

If you have a pediatrician, talk to their office and find out if THEY do the metabolic screen in their office.  If they do not, they will write an order for it to be done elsewhere (typically an out patient lab).  Some of these lab technicians are better than others at doing the screens.  The advantage is they can charge your insurance company for the screen to be conducted.  The disadvantage is you are making two trips out the first week of postpartum recovery to the pediatrician’s office and then a lab to do the screening.

Option 2 is to have me conduct the screen at the first postpartum visit in your home.  I am not able to bill it to your insurance coverage, so I have to charge $125 to cover the lab fees and shipping to the state lab.  Let me know if you want me to do the screening because I don’t normally keep the lab slips in my car unless I know they are going to be needed (they get crumbled, are exposed to excesses in temperature, etc.).

Here is a link if you want to know more about the screening and what they actually test for:

https://dph.georgia.gov/nbs-screening-metabolic-and-sickle-cell-disorders

Hearing Screen:

The hearing screen is also required by the state of Georgia.  This is to make sure every child has early intervention in the case of a hearing loss (in either or both ears). It is not as critical that this screen be conducted in that first week but it is important that you do it (probably some time in the first few months of life).

There are way more places to go to do the testing than this list indicates.  Check first with your pediatrician (to make sure they don’t test in their office and to get their recommendations for locations near you) and also check your local health department. Below is a PDF of locations in the ATL metro area that offer testing as a jumping off place to look.

Hearing screen locations


© Brenda Parrish 2022