California Newborn Screening Program
Frequently Asked Questions From Student Athletes About California Newborn Screening Results for Sickle Cell Trait
Q: How can I find out whether I was tested for sickle cell trait at birth?
A: The California Newborn Screening Program (NBS) has been screening all newborns for sickle cell disease since February 27,1990. The testing also detects healthy babies with sickle cell trait and some other hemoglobin traits. If you were born before 2/27/90, we will not have a test result for you. If you were born after that date, you can request a copy of your results from the NBS Program, your pediatrician, or the hospital where you were born.
Q: How do I obtain my results from NBS?
A: Below, you will find a link to the NBS test result request form. Fill it out completely and print it. If you are over 18, your parents cannot request your results for you; you must sign the request form yourself. Please make sure you have included your mother’s last name at the time you were born, to help us locate the record. Also include telephone numbers where we can reach you if there are questions. Then fax the form to NBS. Please do not send your request more than once. To verify that we have received your request, please send an email to: NBSresults@cdph.ca.gov.
Here is the link to the form for requesting your Newborn Screening Hemoglobin Results. Please know that this PDF fillable form is designed for use on a non-Apple/MacIntosh desktop computer. We are still developing an Apple/MacIntosh friendly version which should be available shortly.
Student Athlete Request for Newborn Screening Results (PDF)
College Athletes Requesting NBS Sickle Cell Trait Results
Q: Will a copy of my newborn screening results meet the NCAA requirement for college student athletes to have documentation of their sickle cell trait status ?
A: Yes, it is our understanding that it will, if you were tested for sickle cell disease at birth. If you have questions about the NCAA requirements, please speak to your college athletic department.
Q: When should I request my results?
A: You should submit your request as soon as you get the information about sickle cell trait testing from your University or College. The turn around time is 4 weeks. Requests will be handled in the order they are received.
Q: How long is the processing time for obtaining my results?
A: It typically takes 4 weeks (Mon-Fri) to locate and mail a copy of your results. Submitting your request as early as possible is the best way to ensure that your results arrive before you need to start practice at your new school.
Q: When should I call NBS to check in about my results?
A: If you have not received your results after 2 weeks, please contact us at NBSresults@cdph.ca.gov . You may also email us with questions at that address.
Questions About NBS Results
Q: I received a copy of my results; which part of the report shows whether I have a trait?
A: In the “Tests” section of reports from 2/90-6/05, the last test listed is “Hemoglobinopathy”. This is the test for sickle cell disease and other hemoglobin disorders as well as certain traits. Next on the same line, the hemoglobin (Hb) pattern is listed. The following line gives the interpretation for the hemoglobin (Hb) results and will say whether there is the usual hemoglobin type (no trait or disease), or if there is a trait (such as sickle cell trait, C trait, E trait, etc.)
Q: If I was tested at birth for sickle cell disease and trait, do I need to be tested again?
A: Usually not. The California newborn screening test for hemoglobin disorders is a very accurate test for sickle cell disease and also accurately detects sickle cell trait, and other common traits like C, D and E. However, babies who have a blood transfusion before the newborn screen may not have accurate hemoglobin screening results, so later testing is recommended. Also, there are some traits (thalassemia traits) that newborn screening does not detect. Your doctor may recommend testing for these traits if you have anemia that does not respond to iron supplements.
For more information about the issues around universal screening of athletes for sickle cell trait, we suggest reading the recommendations by the Secretary's Advisory Committee on Heritable Disorders in Newborns and Children: