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Sending Completed Newborn Screening Specimen Cards to the Lab

Nurse with Baby

Quick delivery of completed newborn screening cards is just as important as collecting a newborn specimen properly.

Any delay in shipping newborn specimens to the lab could critically impact the infant's health.


  • Dry the filled card at room temperature in a horizontal position.  Use a clean, dry, non absorbent surface for laying out the collection cards.  A drying rack can be convenient if you have a lot of specimens to dry.  Allow specimens to dry, away from direct sunlight for a minimum of three (3) hours.


  • Once the specimens are dry, fold the protective flap over the blood spots and package the specimen for delivery to the CDPHE lab.  Never tape or staple the flap closed and do not fold the form when inserting it into the envelope.


  • Place the form in a paper envelope labeled “Dried Clinical Specimen.”  Do not place recently collected newborn screening sample cards in plastic bags for sending, as this will damage the specimen. ( This includes zip lock bags, poly bags, and plastic shipping bags.)  Assure all specimens lie flat in the envelope and have not been folded.


  • If you are sending more than one specimen in an envelope alternate the cards end to end so that the blood spots do not touch. Do not hold onto newborn screening cards to ship together as a batch shipment.


  • Healthcare providers should deliver the completed newborn screening collection cards to the CDPHE laboratory within 24 hours of collection.


  • The State Board of Health recently passed revisions to the state rules and regulations concerning transport of the initial, or first, newborn screen. NEW Effective May 30, 2012: Regulation (in part) reads: "The specimens, after air drying, will be forwarded to the laboratory within 24 hours of collection, by courier or overnight delivery if available." 

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