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Princess Margaret Hospital

WA Newborn Screening Program

About the Program

The purpose of newborn screening is to test all newborn babies for early signs of a number of treatable disorders. A blood test is done to find out whether a baby has a disease or condition for which early treatment can prevent death, mental retardation, or physical disability. About one in every thousand babies born in Australia will have one of these treatable disorders.

Each year the WA Newborn Screening Program tests more than 25,000 babies and detects about 25 who need urgent assessment and treatment.

The pamphlet Your Newborn Baby's Screening Test is essential reading for all parents before their baby has the newborn screening test. The pamphlet is available in English and five other languages.

Newborn screening tests are provided free-of-charge. The tests are not compulsory, and parents may refuse the test on behalf of their baby, but this could unnecessarily risk the baby's health.

In December 2004, the program introduced expanded newborn screening for a range of amino acid, organic acid, and fatty acid oxidation disorders. This followed the evaluation and introduction of a new screening technology called tandem mass spectrometry (MSMS). An MSMS analyser is able to quickly measure a range of amino acids and acylcarnitines in a single dried blood sample.

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General Enquiries Phone (08) 9340 8574
Fax (08) 9340 8420
Principal Scientist Phone (08) 9340 8473
Clinical Director Phone (08) 9340 8489
Location Department of Clinical Biochemistry
Princess Margaret Hospital for Children
Women's and Children's Health Service
Roberts Road
Subiaco WA 6008
Western Australia
Map Please see our map of PMH
Postal Address WA Newborn Screening Program
Department of Clinical Biochemistry
Princess Margaret Hospital for Children
GPO Box D184
Perth WA 6840
Western Australia
Opening Hours 8.30am to 5pm
Monday to Friday
(Closed public holidays)

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