Find out how to help parents of children with birth defects

Use these resources to help parents who:

  • have children with birth defects or congenital anomalies; and
  • are making decisions about prenatal screening.

Birth defects in Yukon

Approximately 420 babies are born to Yukoners every year. The majority are born healthy. However, about 3 to 5% are born with a birth defect. Over half of birth defects have no known cause.

Refer parents to Congenital Anomalies Support Yukon

If parents have a child under 1 year of age with a congenital anomaly, you can refer them to the Congenital Anomalies Support Yukon (CASY) coordinator using the referral form.

The coordinator is a Canadian Certified Genetic Counsellor. They will talk to the parents to:

  • discuss the diagnosis;
  • provide information about congenital anomalies, including methods to reduce the risk of congenital anomalies happening in future pregnancies; and
  • ask for consent to collect information.

If you prefer to get consent from the parents yourself, contact the coordinator for the forms you'll need.

Guidance for parents

The following information is available online to help parents:

What to refer or report to Congenital Anomalies Support Yukon 

Congenital Anomalies Support Yukon (often referred to as CASY) collects information on birth defects to:

  • help our understanding of them; and
  • improve maternal and child public health programs.

They share a deidentified information with the Canadian Congenital Anomalies Surveillance System to help understand birth defects Canada-wide.

Who to refer

  • When a genetic counselling appointment would be helpful, refer parents to the Congenital Anomalies Support Yukon coordinator.

Who to report

  • Report all children with a diagnosis or strong suspicion of a congenital anomaly up to 5 years of age to Congenital Anomalies Support Yukon.
  • When a termination of pregnancy is due to a congenital anomaly, report the anomaly.

How to refer or report

  1. Use the Congenital Anomalies Support Yukon reporting and referral form when a congenital anomaly is identified in a child or fetus.
  2. Fax or mail confirmatory documentation such as a discharge summary or consultation reports. Do not assume this has already been sent.
  3. The coordinator will contact you for further information if they need it.

After you make a referral, the coordinator will talk to the family about:

  • the diagnosis;
  • family history;
  • methods to reduce the risk of congenital anomalies; and
  • support services.

Who should make a referral

  • Physicians
  • Midwives
  • Nurses
  • Any health care provider

Anomalies you should refer

  • Congenital anomalies that are confirmed postnatally up to age 5.
  • Congenital anomalies identified or strongly suspected in any terminated pregnancy or miscarriage.
  • Chromosome abnormalities.
  • Prenatally detected club foot.
  • Ventriculomegaly hydronephrosis only if it's confirmed postnatally.
  • Metabolic disorders.
  • Confirmed Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorder (FASD) and autism at any age.

What you should not report

  • Prenatal soft markers for aneuploidy:
    • nuchal thickening;
    • echogenic foci;
    • echogenic bowel;
    • choroid plexus cysts; and
    • pyelectasis.

Reporting birth defects

Birth defects are reported indirectly, without consent, to the coordinator under the authority of the Chief Medical Officer of Health which is an authority under the Public Health and Safety Act for the purposes of public health surveillance.

Congenital Anomalies Support Yukon is governed under the Health Information Privacy and Management Act (HIPMA).

Contact: 

If you have questions, phone 867-667-8563. 

In person: 4th floor, 204 Lambert Street, Whitehorse, Yukon Y1A 3T2

Email: casy@gov.yk.ca

Fax: 867-667-5714

Mail:
Government of Yukon
Congenital Anomalies Support Yukon, H2
Box 2703
Whitehorse, Yukon Y1A 2C6