PO Box 360
Trenton, NJ 08625-0360

For Release:
June 20, 2024

Kaitlan Baston, MD, MSc, DFASAM

For Further Information Contact:
Office of Communications
(609) 984-7160

New Jersey Department of Health Updates Newborn Screening Bloodspot Retention Policy

TRENTON – The New Jersey Department of Health (NJDOH) has updated its newborn screening bloodspot retention policy.  


Under the new policy, among other changes, the Department will retain identified newborn screening bloodspots for only two years, unless the parent or guardian opts for a greater or lesser retention period, as described in the Notice. Currently, newborn screening bloodspots are retained for 23 years. The Department has begun taking steps to implement the policy, but destruction of existing bloodspots older than two years is not expected to begin until Nov. 1, 2024.


State law requires that every baby born in New Jersey be screened for disorders that can cause serious health problems. Using a simple and safe blood test, all babies are required to be tested for 61 disorders within 48 hours of birth. The blood sample is used to screen for many rare conditions which, if left untreated, may result in serious health problems. Early diagnosis and treatment may help prevent lifelong disabilities, including intellectual and developmental disabilities, and life-threatening infections.

Last Reviewed: 6/20/2024