Newborn Screening

Newborn Screening, a simple blood test administered shortly after birth, checks babies for 5 groups of diseases. Although these conditions are rare, they can be very serious. Because babies with some of these conditions appear completely healthy, parents have no idea their baby is sick. Newborn screening identifies these babies so they can receive immediate care. Testing, early diagnosis and proper treatment can make the difference between lifelong impairment and healthy development.

Ensuring Every Baby in Ontario Receives Screening

Unfortunately, in the flurry of activity after a baby is born, screening can be overlooked. Although this scenario is rare, it does happen. That's where BORN Ontario comes in - we work behind the scenes with Newborn Screening Ontario (NSO) to find babies who were missed and ensure they are offered screening.

Every day newborn screening results travel electronically to the BORN Information System (BIS) where they are cross-referenced with each birth in Ontario. If BORN Ontario finds a baby who has not been screened, we alert the NSO team. NSO immediately follows up with the appropriate hospital/care provider so they can offer parents this important test for their baby.

The NSO-BORN partnership aims to:

  • reduce the number of missed newborn screens
  • improve care for Ontario newborns through early detection and treatment