Babies born in Alberta are tested for certain treatable conditions shortly after birth. This test is different from those done during pregnancy. Using a quick heel poke, drops of blood are collected on a special card and tested for 21 treatable conditions.
This test, called newborn blood spot screening, is the best way to find out if your baby has a certain treatable condition that you, your doctor, or your midwife might not know about. Screening is provided by Alberta Health Services (AHS) through Alberta’s Newborn Metabolic Screening (NMS) Program.
Alberta’s NMS Program is a province-wide screening program offered to all babies born in Alberta by AHS. The program works to prevent health problems, improve newborn health and save lives of Alberta newborns through early diagnosis and treatment of certain conditions, including:
Conditions that affect how the body uses food to grow and develop. These are known as metabolic conditions.
Conditions that affect how the body makes hormones. These are known as endocrine conditions.
Cystic fibrosis (CF), a condition that affects the lungs and digestive system.
Sickle cell disease (SCD)*, a condition that affects the baby’s blood and how it carries oxygen in the body.
Severe combined immunodeficiency (SCID), a condition that affects the body’s ability to fight infections and germs. SCID was added on May 31st, 2019.
*Added on April 1st, 2019
Visit the NMS Program’s service listing to learn more about the program and to find out where screening is available.