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Newborn Screen Test Collection

Collection Procedure:

PolicyTech: Version 9

The Newborn Screen (NBS) is a test performed on the blood of newborn babies to
detect congenital and metabolic disorders. It may be performed on older children.
Newborn Screen card preparation:

1. Information requested on the Newborn Screen card must be completed by the
nursing unit, or the Out Patient Laboratory registrars. Refer to ACH Newborn
Screen Specimen Criteria and Tracking Procedure for instructions.

2. Do not touch the area within the circles on the filter paper.
Specimen requirement:

1. Collect the specimen by capillary technique - heel for infants, finger for children.
Blood collection:

1. Chlorascrub must be dried from the heel or finger prior to puncture. Use powderfree
gloves. Chlorascrub residue and powder may adversely affect the test

2. Obtain a large drop of blood. Touch the drop of blood directly from the heel or
finger to the preprinted circle on the filter paper.

The use of capillary or microtainer tubes to fill the circles is not

Plastic collecting caps from microtainers may be used to collect
    blood and to then dispense blood onto the circles. Several fresh
    caps must be used during collection to avoid clotting.

Touch the blood, not the cap, to the filter paper. Caps and tubes
     scratch the paper.

Filling the circles on the filter paper:

1. Allow the blood to completely saturate the area within each circle. Examine both
sides to ensure the blood has saturated through the filter paper.

2. Use one large drop to fill the circle. Use successive drops of blood to fill one
circle only if needed.

3. Apply blood to only one side of the filter paper.

4. Fill all five circles. Fill one circle completely before starting the next.

5. Avoid blood saturation outside the circles, which causes wrinkling.
Labeling, receiving, and drying:

1. Attach an order label or EPIC Label onto the top rectangle box of the NBS card
and write on the time of collection, the collectors employee number, and C

2. For NBSs collected on nursing units by inpatient lab staff - Transport
immediately to CCL, lying flat on the collection tray. Receive in the lab
information system and allow to air dry for at least 3 hours in a horizontal position
in the NBS dry rack.

3. For NBSs collected in Out Patient Laboratories or by nursing staff in NICU -
Place in the dry rack or in a horizontal position for at least 3 hours prior to
sending to CCL for receiving into the lab information system.

4. Separate filter paper from back of card to prevent clotting while drying.

5. The specimen should be dried away from heat, breezes, and direct sun light.


6. Do not place Newborn Screen specimens in a plastic bag at any time. Screens
can be sent through the pneumatic tube system contained in a paper envelope
labeled with a bio-hazard sticker. At no time should the card be sent through the
pneumatic tube system without some type of secondary container stating that it
is a bio-hazard specimen.

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