Newborn Screening Information for Families:
Screening Results

On this page:
Blood spot iconBlood Spot Screening

Hearing iconHearing Screening

Pulse oximetry iconPulse Oximetry Screening



Blood spot iconBlood Spot Screening

Once your baby’s blood sample arrives at the Newborn Screening Program, screening takes several days. When screening is complete, you can request a copy of your baby’s results by asking your baby’s doctor. A good time to ask about your baby’s results is at your first well-child visit. There are several possible results in newborn blood spot screening. See below for a brief overview of three of these possible results: Negative (Normal), Borderline and Positive/Abnormal.

Negative (Normal) Result

  • Results are mailed to the birth hospital or out-of-hospital birth provider.
  • The birth hospital or out-of-hospital birth provider forwards results to your baby’s primary care provider.
  • At the time of birth, be sure to give the hospital staff or out-of-hospital birth provider the name of your baby’s primary care provider or clinic so that results can be promptly sent.

Borderline Result

Positive/Abnormal Result

  • Newborn Screening Program staff will call your baby’s primary care provider or clinic to inform them of the result.
  • Your baby's primary care provider will contact you to discuss the next steps.
  • More testing is usually needed to know if your baby is affected by the disorder.
  • There are interventions and treatments available to babies who are confirmed to have a disorder identified by newborn screening.
  • Following up with your baby’s primary care provider is very important to your baby's health.
  • For information on a specific disorder, please refer to the Screening Panel and Disorder-Specific Information page.

Note: If your baby receives a result not listed above, your baby’s primary care provider will discuss the result with you and will notify you if further testing is necessary.


Hearing screening icon

Hearing Screening

Your baby’s hearing results will be generated immediately after screening is complete. A nurse or midwife will explain the results to you and discuss whether follow up testing is needed. See below for a brief overview of possible hearing screen results: PASS and REFER (did not pass).

PASS Result

  • The hospital or out-of-hospital provider will send the results to your baby's primary care provider or clinic.
  • Though it is unlikely that your baby has a hearing loss at that time, it is important to monitor your child and make sure certain language milestones are met. Handouts that outline what milestones parents can expect throughout their child’s first two years of life can be found on the Education Materials and Forms page.

REFER (did not pass) Result

  • A nurse or midwife will notify you and your baby’s primary care provider of the result.
  • A follow-up appointment to have your baby's hearing rechecked should be scheduled for you no later than two weeks after your baby’s initial hearing screen.
  • If your baby does not pass the hearing rescreen, further testing is necessary and an appointment with an audiologist should be scheduled for you as soon as possible.
  • Following up with these hearing screens and tests is important to be able to identify if your baby has a hearing loss.
  • For more information on REFER hearing results, please refer to the family fact sheet on the Screening Panel and Disorder-Specific Information page.

Pulse oximetry icon

Pulse Oximetry Screening

Your baby’s pulse oximetry results will be generated immediately after screening is complete. A nurse or midwife will explain the results to you and discuss whether follow up testing is needed. See below for a brief overview of possible pulse oximetry screen results: Pass and Did Not Pass.

Pass Result

  • Nursery staff or your midwife will notify you and your baby’s primary care provider of the result.
  • The hospital or out-of-hospital provider will send the results to your baby's primary care provider or clinic.
  • Pulse oximetry screening does not detect all cases of CCHD. It is important your baby receives regular checkups with a primary care provider and for you to watch your baby’s H.E.A.R.T for signs of CCHD:

    Heart rate – beating too fast or too slow?
    Energy – overly sleepy or agitated?
    Appearance – pale or blue skin?
    Respiration – breathing too fast or too slow?
    Temperature – cold to the touch?

Did Not Pass Result

  • Nursery staff or your midwife will notify you and your baby’s primary care provider of the result.
  • Your baby’s care provider will immediately arrange for further testing and evaluation to determine if your baby has CCHD. It is important to remember that not passing the screen does not necessarily mean that your baby has CCHD. However, it is important for follow-up testing to occur as soon as possible to determine whether or not your baby has a heart problem, breathing problem, or an infection.
  • Babies with CCHD need surgery within the first year of life. Each baby with CCHD will require a unique treatment plan developed for his or her particular heart defect.