The TORCH screen is a blood test that checks for several different infections in a newborn. TORCH stands for toxoplasmosis, rubella, cytomegalovirus, herpes simplex, and HIV.
Sometimes the test is spelled TORCHS, where the extra "S" stands for syphilis.
Why is the Test Performed?
This test is used to screen infants for certain infections that are spread from the mother to her baby. Infections like toxoplasmosis, cytomegalovirus, herpes simplex, syphilis and others may lead to birth defects, growth delay, and neurological problems.
In some cases, the mother may also need to be tested to help diagnose certain infections.
How is the Test Performed?
The health care provider will clean a small area (usually the finger) and stick it with a sharp needle or cutting instrument called a lancet. The blood may be collected in a small glass tube, on a slide, onto a test strip, or into a small container. If there is any bleeding, cotton or a bandage may be applied to the puncture site.
How to Prepare for the Test?
For specific information regarding how you can prepare your child, see infant test or procedure preparation.
How will the Test Feel?
While the blood sample is being obtained, your child will most likely feel a prick and a brief stinging sensation.