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Completing the Newborn Screening Card

Submitters are responsible for ensuring all fields on the newborn screening requisition are completed and accurate before it is sent to NSO. Many submitters in Ontario have instituted a “quality control check” where each newborn screening card is reviewed by the charge nurse, unit clerk or laboratory staff to ensure it has been fully completed prior to being sent to NSO. Providing inaccurate or incomplete information can have serious consequences.


  • The newborn screening card consists of five parts:
    • the filter paper for specimen collection,
    • the CCHD information section,
    • the requisition,
    • the decline/defer section,
    • and the parent information sheet.
  • When possible, complete the newborn screening card prior to collection to minimize the potential for sample mix-up.
  • Complete the newborn screening card using a ball point pen.
    • If a hospital stamp or sticker is used, all copies of the card must be stamped/stickered. Please ensure that stickers are printed properly such that critical information is not missing or illegible.
  • Document in the infant’s chart or medical record the date and time the newborn screening dried blood spot (DBS) sample was collected, as well as the date and time of measurement and results of pulse oximetry screening.
    • Many larger submitters keep a central log with this collection information to facilitate communication with NSO.
  • If the DBS is collected before 24 hours of age, please check the “<24 hours/early discharge” box on the requisition.

Expiration date

  • Check the expiration date of the newborn screening card in the mid-upper section of the card, next to the image of an hourglass, under the circles for the blood. The expiration date is in a year-month format (i.e. 2018-05).
  • If the blood spot collection card has expired, use another card for blood specimen collection.
  • If you only have expired cards, order new cards immediately. In the meantime, collect newborn screening samples on the expired cards. NSO tests all samples received on expired cards; however, the sample is considered unsatisfactory, and a repeat sample will be required.
  • If you identify newborn screening cards as expired, please return them to NSO where they will be used for other purposes, such as educational initiatives. Please send the expired card(s) to NSO via the same transportation system used to send the newborn screening samples.

  • The newborn screening requisition portion of the blood spot collection card must be completed to ensure proper specimen labeling for positive identification of the infant from whom the specimen was taken.
  • All fields on the newborn screening requisition should be filled in as completely as possible. A complete newborn screening report cannot be issued if certain critical fields are not completed.

  • Complete the parent/guardian’s demographic information section on the newborn screening requisition. This includes name, date of birth, address and phone number. This information is critical as it is used to locate an infant in the event of a positive screen.

  • If the infant is in CAS care, please check the box for “CAS Care” on the newborn screening requisition portion of the card. Please provide the infant’s caseworker’s name and contact phone number in the demographic section, as they will be contacted in the event of a positive screen.

  • If the infant is being adopted, please check the box for “Adoption” on the newborn screening requisition portion of the blood spot collection card. Include the adoptive parent’s information in the demographics section, as they will be caring for the infant and will be the person to contact in the event of a positive screen.

  • Ordering health care provider:
    • Each newborn screening sample must have an ordering health care provider, in compliance with provincial health care regulations.This individual must be either a physician or midwife.
    • Some larger submitters have identified one physician who oversees the entire newborn screening process and is listed as the ordering health care provider on all samples. Other submitters indicate the physician on-call at the time the sample was obtained.
  • Submitting facility:
    • Indicate the address of the submitting hospital/midwifery practice where the newborn screening report should be sent.

  • List the name, address and phone number of the physician/midwife/nurse practitioner in the community that will be caring for the infant after discharge. This information is critical in helping locate an infant in the event of a positive newborn screen.
  • At this time, NSO only sends a copy of the newborn screening report to the submitter. Additional copies are not automatically forwarded to primary health care providers by NSO.
  • Newborn screening results are available in the Ontario Laboratory Information System (OLIS).

  • Please ensure that all times are given using the 24-hour clock.
  • If you do not use the 24-hour clock, please ensure the am/pm section of the requisition is clearly indicated.

Contact NSO

Subscribe to the Submitter Bulletins to stay up to date on the latest newborn screening updates, or submit a question about newborn screening.

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