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Newborn Screening Ontario
Screening Results

Screening Results FAQ

Here are some commonly asked questions about how to access and follow-up on newborn screening results.

If your question is not answered here, please do not hesitate to contact us.

  • The baby’s results have arrived but the baby’s information is incorrect. What should I do?

    Please call Newborn Screening Ontario (NSO) to inform us if you notice incorrect demographic information on a newborn screening report (e.g. incorrect gender, health card number, date of birth/sample collection, etc.). If necessary, we can issue an amended report with the correct information for you.

  • How can I find the results of a baby’s newborn screening test? Who are the results sent to?

    Results from the newborn screening blood test are sent to the hospital or midwifery practice that did the test, by mail and/or electronically through the Ontario Laboratories Information System (OLIS).

    Newborn Screening Ontario (NSO) aims to have reports for every baby as soon as possible. NSO does not release results directly to parents or guardians, but will release results to a baby’s healthcare provider upon request of a parent, guardian or health care provider. Parents can also request results from their baby’s health care provider or the hospital where their baby was born.

    Screening results are shared with health care providers to ensure babies born in Ontario receive the health care they need, while still keeping their health information and blood samples safe and confidential. NSO follows the rules set out in law about the collection and use of information in health care, analysis, quality assurance, and research. Results of the newborn screen are only given to the hospital or health care provider who requested the test and to health care professionals that look after the baby.

    Results for Critical Congenital Heart Disease (CCHD) screening are available immediately since the testing is done at the bedside. Results of CCHD screening can be requested from the hospital, birthing centre, or midwifery practice where the test was performed. 

    Please visit the Request Screening Results page to request a baby's newborn screening results.

  • What happens to the blood sample after testing is finished?

    Dried blood samples are stored in a secure facility for 19 years, as they are a part of a child’s medical record. After 19 years, the samples are destroyed. The samples for babies born before April 2006 are stored by the Public Health Laboratory in Toronto, Ontario.

  • It has been several weeks since a newborn screening sample was sent and a report has not been received. What should I do?

    Please contact us and we would be happy to look into this for you.

  • What is the ordering health care provider’s responsibility when a baby screens positive?

    Blood Spot Screening: When a baby has a screen positive result, the newborn screening report will indicate that NSO physicians have referred the baby to physicians at a specified follow-up clinic (called a Regional Treatment Centre) who are responsible for further diagnostic evaluation of the baby, for initiation of treatment if indicated, and for reporting the outcome of the diagnostic evaluation to the referring physician at NSO. In general, no further follow-up on the part of the submitting health care provider is required. If you have any concerns, or if the follow-up plans noted are unclear, please contact us.

    Critical Congenital Heart Disease (CCHD) Screening: Since screening for CCHD is a point-of-care test, results are available and followed up on immediately by the ordering health care provider if positive. Babies with positive CCHD screening result are usually examined by a physician to determine the cause for the low oxygen level in their blood. The next steps may involve tests, such as an ultrasound of the heart (also known as an echocardiogram) to determine if the baby has CCHD. 

  • Why hasn’t my baby’s pediatrician or family physician received the newborn screening results?

    At this time, NSO only reports the results of the newborn screening blood test to the health care provider who ordered it. NSO will release results to a baby’s healthcare provider upon request. However, family doctors and pediatricians with an electronic medical record may be able to access these results directly from the Ontario Laboratory Information System (OLIS).

    Results for Critical Congenital Heart Disease (CCHD) screening are available immediately since the testing is done at the bedside. Results of CCHD screening can be requested from the hospital, birthing centre, or midwifery practice where the test was performed.