Blood Spot Sampling & Transport

Labelling the blood spot card

Points to remember:

  • It is ESSENTIAL that the blood spot card is completed correctly with all the details of the baby whose blood is collected (including the NHS number). Samples received without an NHS number will not be processed.
  • These details must be filled in BEFORE the heel prick is carried out, to make sure there is no chance of a mix-up.
  • If there is an indication that any incorrect information may have been provided on a bloodspot card, you must inform the laboratory immediately.
  • Do not assume that printed labels in the baby's child health record are accurate, it is important to check the details each time you use them.
  • There is no need to indicate whether the baby is breastfeeding or bottle-feeding.

Interactive instructions on how to complete a blood spot card correctly

Information for parents

The NHS Newborn Blood Spot Test website includes information about each condition, FAQ's and links to further information.

The Screening Tests for You and Your Baby leaflet contains information about the blood spot screening test and the conditions it screens for. It is available in other languages.

Find out what happens to your baby's blood spot card.

Collecting the sample

A full guideline and quick reference guide are available here.

Blood spot sampling film - This film has been made to support midwives and other sample takers in obtaining good quality newborn blood spot samples. There are two versions - a full version (11 minutes) and a short version that highlights key messages (5 minutes).

PDF icon Here is an example of an acceptable quality sample, with correctly completed details. 

Transportation

The blood spots should be allowed to air-dry thoroughly, away from direct sunlight before placing in the transparent paper (Glassine) envelope provided (not plastic as this may cause the specimen to 'sweat') and sent, by first class post or courier on the day of collection, in a sturdy envelope.  If not possible, despatch within 24 hours of taking the sample. Despatch should not be delayed in order to batch cards together for postage.