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Newborn Metabolic Screen

Referred out for testing

Source Blood
Mnemonic NMS
Specimen Requirements

Newborn blood spot screening card

Collect the blood sample between 24 hours and 72 hours of age and as close to 24 hours as possible. Complete required information on newborn blood spot screening card. Fill 4 circles on card, one after the other, with whole blood (blood MUST soak through to back of card). Capillary blood is preferred, but venous blood is acceptable. Use direct application to inoculate card.

CLS staff: Refer to PX-SC630 Newborn Metabolic Screen for additional information.

Specimen Handling Place the blood spot card on a clean flat non-absorbent surface, away from sunlight and heat, and allow to dry for three hours before packaging in a paper envelope for transport. 
Additional Information

Ensure the following information is completed on the card:
- infant's ULI/PHN number
- province of PHN number (e.g. Alberta)
- gender
- infant's last name
- infant's hospital number
- date and time of birth
- gestational age, if premature
- collection date and time
- birth weight
- TPN
- multiple birth set information
- mother's last name, first name and postal code
- ordering physician with first name and/or initials and physician code
- family physician with first name and/or initials (if different from ordering physician) and physician code
- birth location
- zone of collection
- collection location code
- collector code or initials

Babies born in Alberta are screened for the following disorders:

  • Amino Acid disorders: PKU, MSUD, CIT
  • Fatty Acid Oxidation disorders: MCAD, LCHAD, VLCAD, CUD, TFP
  • Organic Acid disorders: MMA, PA, IVA, GA1, HMG, BIOT
  • Endocrine disorders: CH, CAH
  • Cystic Fibrosis: CF

Results are returned directly to physician. Inquiries to Hereditary Disease Program (780-407-8820).

For follow-up testing such as plasma phenylalanine, see Amino Acids. Call ACH Biochemical Genetics 403-955-7379 from 08:00-16:15.

For more information about Alberta's Newborn Metabolic Screening Program, refer to: www.albertahealthservices.ca/newbornscreening.asp

Testing Location University of Alberta
Testing Frequency
Alternate Name(s) NMS, Phenylketonuria Screen, PKU Screen
Reference Interval