Get added protection with newborn genetic screening

Newborn genetic screening is a unique process, separate from banking your baby’s cord blood. Only ViaCord offers expecting families the added protection with HealthCheck|NB — a service that can detect nearly 60 disorders in newborns. This unique screening gives you the opportunity to protect your baby from the preventable complications of undiagnosed disorders. Many of these disorders are manageable if treatment begins early.

How it works: At the hospital

The process for screening your newborn is simple. ViaCord will mail you a HealthCheck | NB genetic screening packet to bring to the hospital on the day of delivery. Once you are moved to the post-partum room, a healthcare professional will perform the HealthCheck|NB blood sample collection, about 24-48 hours after birth.

The procedure, called a heel stick, is a quick and simple process in which the newborn baby's heel is pricked and then a small amount of the blood is collected on the special HealthCheck|NB filter paper. The heel stick is the most common way to draw blood from newborns.

How it works: Once your screening packet is complete

Once complete, the healthcare professional will return the screening packet to you. Simply mail the sample to our lab using the UPS Next-Day Air envelope, provided in the HealthCheck|NB screening packet, by placing it in the nearest UPS drop-box. A detailed list of instructions will be e-mailed to you after you've signed up.

Your pediatrician will notify you of your lab results. An abnormal result at the time of screening indicates the need for diagnostic testing to confirm the presence of a disorder. If an abnormality is confirmed, early medical intervention can play a key role in helping to lead a healthier life. Our genetic counselors will work directly with your pediatrician, if results require follow up action.

For additional information, please review our HealthCheck|NB FAQs provided below. Click to expand for the full list of questions. 

HealthCheck|NB Pricing

Healthcheck|NB Screening Service may be purchased separately or in conjunction with ViaCord’s cord blood banking service. Our ‘bundled’ offer provides a significant cost savings to families and allows families to roll the price of the service into one of our convenient payment plan options:

  • HealthCheck|NB ONLY:  $299
  • HealthCheck|NB bundled with ViaCord's banking service: $199
Call 866-668-4895 to order HealthCheck|NB for your newborn.

HealthCheck | NB Screening FAQs

  1. Is newborn screening for metabolic disorders a new procedure?

    No. Newborns have been screened for inherited disorders in the U.S. since the early 1960s.

  2. Why would I have my baby tested?

    Newborns may not show obvious signs that they have an inherited disorder until after health complications have developed. Early identification can allow your physician to start specialized medical treatment that may improve the long-term health of your baby.

  3. How is my baby tested?

    A healthcare professional will draw a small sample of blood by pricking your baby’s heel. The sample is placed on the absorbent filter paper located in every HealthCheck | NB packet and sent to PerkinElmer's laboratory for analysis.

  4. Does a ‘heel stick’ hurt the baby?

    The ‘heel stick’ is the most common way to draw blood from newborns and causes no harm to the baby. It involves a quick, virtually noninvasive, prick of the newborn baby’s heel and then a small amount of the blood is collected on the special HealthCheck | NB filter paper.

  5. When is the screening performed?

    The baby’s screening should take place 24-48 hours after birth, by means of a heel stick. It is best if this occurs simultaneously with the state PKU tests to avoid additional heel sticks.

  6. Can I test my baby myself?

    No. Your physician must coordinate the entire process. You should not, under any circumstances, attempt to draw and submit the blood sample yourself.

  7. How many disorders does the HealthCheck|NB panel include?

    HealthCheck | NB can identify the presence of nearly 60 inherited disorders, including Cystic Fibrosis, Maple Syrup Urine Disease, and SCID as well as many lesser-known disorders your state may not include in its screening program.

  8. Does the HealthCheck | NB screening test replace the testing done by my state?

    HealthCheck | NB does not replace the testing done by your state. The HealthCheck | NB screen is in addition to your state provided screen and helps ensure you and your family receive the most comprehensive and valuable information as possible.

  9. What does my state test for?

    To see which disorders your state tests for, click here.

  10. When will I know the results of the screening?

    The testing will be complete approximately three business days after the sample arrives at PerkinElmer laboratory. Your child’s physician will be notified immediately of any abnormal results by telephone. We are not able to give results directly to parents.

  11. What happens if my child has an abnormal result?

    Your child’s physician will be notified by a genetic counselor immediately if an abnormal result appears at the time of screening. An abnormal result indicates the need for diagnostic testing to confirm the presence of a disorder. If an abnormality is confirmed, early medical intervention can play a key role in helping him or her lead a normal life.

  12. Can I order HealthCheck|NB if I live anywhere in the US?

    Yes. Professional medical organizations recommend that states screen for 29 newborn disorders, referred to as core disorders and also recommend a secondary panel of 25 disorders to be included along with the core panel. Because both the core and secondary panel of tests are so critical several states automatically provide the secondary panel, however many states still do not. HealthCheck | NB can be purchased by parents who reside in states that do not offer the complete secondary panel to ensure their babies get the most complete, timely results. To see a list of conditions your state is currently screening for click here.

  13. How do I order the HealthCheck | NB genetic screening packet?

    You can order HealthCheck|NB by calling ViaCord at: 1-866-668-4895