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Newborn Screening Ontario
Health Care Providers

Sample Transportation FAQ

Here are some commonly asked questions about shipping newborn screening samples to us at Newborn Screening Ontario (NSO).

  • What address should I enter in the Purolator system for NSO?

    Newborn Screening Ontario - LAB (CHEO)
    415 Smyth Road 
    Ottawa ON   K1H 8M8

  • What shipping option should I select?

    Please select “Purolator Express Pack” service.

  • If I only have one sample, should I wait a few days until I have more to send via Purolator?

    Please DO NOT wait for a number of newborn screening samples to schedule a pickup. It is important that every sample reaches us as quickly as possible. The major reason we use a courier service is to reduce the amount of time between sample collection and the sample arriving in our lab- therefore, every sample should be sent as soon as possible. Although this costs us more in transportation fees, it can make a big difference in a baby’s health if they have one of the diseases we screen for.

  • Can we use manual waybills instead of electronic waybills?

    No. If you use manual waybills NSO is not notified that you have sent us a package and we have no way to track the package, thus, if it is lost in transit we have no way of knowing and informing you.

  • Should we send in samples on Friday? Or on the weekend?

    Please ship samples to us on Friday and be sure to select the “Saturday Delivery” box when creating the shipment. NSO is open Monday to Saturday, thus samples shipped with the “Saturday Delivery” option will arrive in our lab on Saturday. If this option is not selected the samples shipped Friday will arrive in our lab on Monday. Samples can be shipped from some sites on Saturday, please see Newborn Screening Bulletin 2016-10 for more details.  

  • What is the cost to ship samples via Purolator?

    NSO covers the cost of sample transportation. There is no cost to your hospital/midwifery practice as long as you complete the electronic waybill.

  • Can I put the newborn screening samples in a plastic bag in the mailing envelope?

    No. It is not standard practice to place the cards in a plastic bag as condensation can damage the samples. The new envelopes are made of Tyvek and are thus water resistant.

  • How often should we send in newborn screening samples?

    Samples should be shipped every business day, Monday to Friday. Newborn screening samples can be gathered together and sent daily to NSO using the pre-paid Purolator courier services. Please do not wait several days to send samples. Delays could have serious consequences for affected babies and may render the sample unsatisfactory, requiring a repeat newborn screen and further delaying the process. Samples can be shipped from some sites on Saturday, please see Newborn Screening Bulletin 2016-10 for more details.