A few drops of blood are taken from the baby’s heel in the first two days of life, usually before he or she goes home from hospital. The blood is placed on a special type of absorbent paper and sent to the Laboratory at the IWK Health Centre for testing.
Tests are carried out for more then ten inherited disorders. The most common are Phenylketonuria (PKU), Congenital Hypothyroidism, and Medium-chain acyl CoA dehydrogenase (MCAD) deficiency. These conditions can be effectively treated if discovered early in life.
Your baby’s test results are sent back to your family physician and/or the hospital where the baby was born. You will not be called if they are normal. If additional testing is required to determine if your child has a problem, your family doctor is informed immediately. If you are notified that your baby needs additional testing, do not delay. In many cases, the repeat test will show that your baby is, in fact, not affected.