Fetal Alert Network: Surveying congenital anomalies
Historically, Ontario has lagged well behind other jurisdictions in Canada in its ability to survey congenital anomalies within the province. Birth defect registries or programs exist in several provinces, namely, British Columbia, Alberta, Manitoba, Prince Edward Island, Nova Scotia and Newfoundland. While Ontario does track cases of Down syndrome, neural tube defects (NTDs) and trisomy 18 through its Maternal Serum Screening database, it has not had a province-wide program to survey birth defects until recently. Therefore, Dr Kim and other members of the Fetal Alert Network (FAN) (1) of Ontario are to be applauded for taking the first step in developing a birth defects registry that goes beyond the traditional model, by aiming to track anomalies detected before birth and linking them to postnatal outcomes. This approach recognizes the huge advances in prenatal detection and diagnosis of birth defects that have taken place in recent years.