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Newborn blood spot screening

What if my baby needs more tests?

​​​When their screening test result is abnormal or positive, a baby needs to have more testing for one of the conditions screened for. This doesn’t mean your baby has the condition. It means your baby has a higher chance of having the condition and will need more tests to find out if they have the condition or not.

Testing is important because even though your baby looks and acts healthy, they could still have one of the treatable conditions. Finding and treating these conditions early can help prevent health problems. This can improve your baby's overall health and may even save your baby's life.

It’s normal to feel worried if your baby needs more testing. Your specialists and other healthcare providers are there to support you. They’ll explain what will happen and answer your questions.

How will I know if my baby needs more tests?

A healthcare provider will contact you if your baby needs more tests. You’ll get information about:

  • where to go
  • when the test will be
  • what type of test it will be (blood, urine, or both)
  • how the test will be done
  • what you need to bring with you to the test

Ask them any questions you have. You might find taking notes is helpful.

What can I expect with more testing?

Everything that will happen with more testing will be explained to you. Your baby may need to have their blood and urine tested to check if they have one of the treatable conditions. The healthcare provider may also order other tests.

This testing may be done at a clinic in Edmonton or Calgary that specializes in these treatable conditions. In some cases you may also be sent to your family doctor for testing.

What if more testing shows my baby has one of the treatable conditions?

If testing shows that your baby has one of the conditions, a specialized healthcare team will work with you to make a care plan for your baby.

Where can I find more information about the treatable conditions?

If your baby needs more tests, you may want to learn more about the condition your baby was screened for.

Be careful when searching for information about the treatable conditions on the internet. Get information from trusted sources and learn where to find reliable information.​

If you’re ever worried about your baby’s health, follow the instructions your healthcare provider has given you or call Health Link at 811.

Current as of: March 3, 2023

Author: Alberta Newborn Screening Program, Alberta Health Services