The “PKU” Test

Before your child leaves the hospital, a blood sample will be sent to the Utah State Laboratory to test for three inherited diseases: phenylketonuria (PKU), hypothyroidism, and galactosemia. Each of these disorders occurs very rarely, but each will cause mental retardation if not detected in the newborn period.

A special card in an envelope will be given to you when you leave the hospital with your baby. You should bring this to our office at the time of the first well child exam (between 2 and 4 weeks of age). We will draw this second or follow-up sample and send it to the same laboratory. This second sample is to double check for phenylketonuria (PKU) and hypothyroidism. The law requires that this testing be performed on all children born in the State of Utah.

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