What is Screening?
Newborn screening is a test done shortly after birth to test for treatable diseases that usually show no symptoms in the newborn period.
Using a heel-prick, a small amount of blood is collected from all babies shortly after birth. In Ontario, this blood is sent to Newborn Screening Ontario (NSO) in Ottawa where it is tested for serious diseases. With these diseases, early diagnosis is the key to effective treatment.
Screening for Critical Congenital Heart Disease (CCHD) is also offered to babies in Ontario. This is a quick and painless test called pulse oximetry that measures the level of oxygen in a baby’s blood. This test is done at the bedside and results are available right away.
The picture below explains why newborn screening is so important. Please click "More Detail" to learn more about any of the messages below.