Sample Collection Procedures

How to Obtain Newborn Screening Filter Paper Forms:
  • NBS Filter Paper Forms (Lab-10) can be obtained from the Genetics Disease Progam.
    • Blue Border Lab-10 forms are for patients covered by Medicaid, including those in the Kid-Med program and may be obtained from the Genetics Disease Program at no cost.
    • Red Border Lab-10 Forms are for private and non-Medicaid patients. The price for these forms is $30.00 each.
  • Private providers should obtain a mix of red and blue Lab-10 forms from the Genetics Disease Program to match the Medicaid/non-Medicaid composition of newborns to be screened at their facility.
When to Collect a NBS Specimen:
  • All newborns should be screened prior to hospital discharge regardless of their length of stay. Newborns remaining in the hospital for an extended period should be screened initially no later than 7 days after birth.
  • Specimens should be collected 24 hours after birth. If specimen is collected prior to 24 hours from birth, the newborn must be rescreened at the first medical visit, preferably between one and two weeks of age, but no later than the third week of life.
  • Whenever possible, a heel stick specimen should be collected prior to blood transfusion because transfusions can alter all newborn screening results. If a specimen is collected after a blood transfusion, repeat testing should be performed:
    • 3 days after the last transfusion to detect congenital hypothyroidism
    • 90 days after last transfusion to detect sickle cell disease, biotinidase deficiency, and galactosemia
How to Collect a NBS Specimen:
  • Whatman® Neonatal Screening Instructions - Provides detailed pictorial instructions on how to collect a valid blood specimen for NBS.
  • Additional Tips for collecting a valid specimen:
    • To prevent specimen contamination, do not touch any of the filter paper circles before or after collection.
    • Keep heel in horizontal position (Heel Down) at or below heart level.
    • FILL all required circles. FILL from only one side of the filter paper. Circles must be completely filled when observed from both sides of the filter paper.
    • Dry specimen at room temperature 3-4 hours in HORIZONTAL position.
  • Forward specimen to State Lab within 24 hours. (Click on link for address) Be sure to send specimen to ATTN: Newborn Screening Lab.
Reasons for Rejecting a NBS Specimen:
  • Whatman Simple Spot Check - depicts how valid and invalid specimens look.
  • Specimen age > 14 days from collection date
  • Specimen clotted or layered.
  • Specimen exhibits serum rings.
  • Filter paper scratched or abraded.
  • Specimen quanity not sufficient for testing.
  • Specimen not completely dry before mailing
  • Blood applied to both sides of the filter paper
  • Specimen appears diluted, discolored or contaiminated
  • Specimen collection using capillaries containing EDTA.