Handling newborn screening specimens

  • Dry the filled card at room temperature in a horizontal position.
    • Use a clean, dry, nonabsorbent 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 at least three hours.
  • Once the specimens are dry, fold the protective flap over the blood spots and package the specimen for delivery to our laboratory.
    • Never tape or staple the flap closed.
    • Don’t fold the form when inserting it into the envelope.
  • Place the form in a paper envelope labeled “Dried Clinical Specimen.”
    • Don’t place recently collected newborn screening sample cards in plastic bags for sending, as this will damage the specimens. (This includes zip-lock bags, poly bags and plastic shipping bags.)
    • Make sure all specimens lie flat in the envelope and haven’t been folded.
  • If you’re sending more than one specimen in an envelope, alternate the cards end to end so that the blood spots don’t touch.
    • Don’t hold onto newborn screening cards to ship together as a batch shipment.
  • Health care providers should deliver the completed newborn screening collection cards to our laboratory within 24 hours of collection.
  • The Colorado Board of Health passed revisions in 2012 to the rules and regulations concerning transport of the initial, or first, newborn screen.
    • The revised Regulation 1.3.1.2 reads, in part: "The specimens, after air drying, will be forwarded to the laboratory within 24 hours of collection, by courier or overnight delivery if available."