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Newborn Screening Ontario
Screening Results

Results Overview

Newborn screening results show whether a baby has a high or low chance to have a disease.

There are three possible results from the newborn screening test.

  • Screen negative result

    • Most babies have screen negative newborn screening results. Screen negative results mean that a baby has a low risk of having any of the diseases screened and follow-up diagnostic testing is not needed based on these results.

    • False negative results are possible, but rare. A baby’s health care provider may still order diagnostic testing for one of the diseases, if a baby has a family history or develops symptoms of one of the diseases.

  • Unsatisfactory result

    • An unsatisfactory result means that a baby’s newborn screening sample was not suitable for testing and a repeat sample is needed as soon as possible.

    • An unsatisfactory test result does NOT mean that baby has a higher chance of having a disease.

    • To learn about reasons why samples are considered unsatisfactory, please visit our Repeat Tests page

  • Screen positive result

    • Some babies have a screen positive newborn screening result. A screen positive result does NOT mean that a baby has the disease. It means that the baby has a higher chance to have the disease and that more testing is needed to find out for sure.

    • Please visit our Disease Information page for more information about screen positive results for specific diseases.

Requesting Results

Newborn screening is performed shortly after birth and results are usually available within a couple of days. Newborn Screening Ontario (NSO) routinely sends results to the hospital or health care provider who ordered the test. NSO will also send results to a baby's health care provider upon request. Please visit our Request Screening Results page to request a baby's newborn screening results. Results for Critical Congenital Heart Disease (CCHD) screening are available immediately since the testing is done point-of-care. Results of CCHD screening can be requested from the hospital, birthing centre, or midwifery practice where the test was performed.

Sickle Cell Carrier Results

Carrier results for Sickle Cell and some less common hemoglobin diseases can be requested from Newborn Screening Ontario (NSO) via a parent/guardian or primary health care provider.

Carrier results are not included on the newborn screening results report, and requesting them is optional. Obtaining carrier results is NOT urgent. Children who are carriers of a hemoglobin disease are not more likely to get sick than any other child. For more information on hemoglobin carrier results, please visit our Sickle Cell Carrier Results page