Newborn Screening of Cystic Fibrosis

In January 2007, cystic fibrosis was added to the list of disorders tested for in Georgia’s newborn screening program. A small sample of blood is taken from the heel of each baby 24-48 hours after birth and is sent to the state lab for analysis.

Your baby’s primary care provider (pediatrician, family medicine physician, or nurse practitioner) receives the results of the newborn screening test and will contact you for further testing if needed.

  • Most babies with a positive newborn screening test do NOT have cystic fibrosis, but some do.
  • If your baby has a positive screening test for CF, a sweat test will be needed to determine whether or not your baby has cystic fibrosis.
  • Your baby’s primary care provider will make arrangements for a sweat test.
  • A sweat test is painless and results are usually available the same day.
  • Some infants do not produce enough sweat and the test will need to be repeated.
  • A positive sweat test means your child has CF. An appointment will be made at the cystic fibrosis center as soon as possible. Early diagnosis of CF has many benefits and we will ensure that your child will receive the best possible care.
  • A negative sweat test means your child does not have CF, but may be a carrier. Genetic counseling is recommended.