If you are a new or expecting parent, newborn screening is the best way to find out if your baby has a condition that you, your doctor or midwife might not know about.
It’s possible to have one of the screened conditions, such as cystic fibrosis, spinal muscular atrophy, or congenital hearing loss, even if there is no obvious family history. Finding these conditions early means babies get the treatment they need when it can help the most. The tests are quick and safe, and they can be done shortly after birth.
If you are a new or expectant parent, it is important to know about newborn screening and the provincial programs available for Alberta babies. You will be offered to have your baby screened in hospital before discharge or be given information on where to get screening done in the community.
AHS provides these services free of charge through two provincial newborn screening programs.
The Alberta Early Hearing Detection and Intervention (EHDI) Program identifies permanent hearing loss as early as possible in a baby’s life. Finding permanent hearing loss early gives your baby the best opportunity to develop language and learning skills and prevent possible developmental delays.
It’s best for your baby to be screened for permanent hearing loss by one month of age.
Visit ahs.ca/ehdi to learn more.
The Alberta Newborn Screening Program (ANSP) uses blood spot screening to find certain serious conditions soon after birth that can’t be seen just by looking at your baby. Finding these conditions early ensures that treatment can begin sooner to help prevent irreversible problems, improve health, and maybe even save your baby’s life. It is best for your baby to have newborn blood spot screening between 24 and 72 hours after birth.
Visit ahs.ca/ansp to learn more.
Learn more about newborn screening in Alberta at ahs.ca/newbornscreening.