Skip all navigation Skip to page navigation

DHHS Home | Assistance | Divisions | About DHHS | DHHS Contacts

NC Department of Health and Human Services
State Laboratory of Public Health
N.C. Public Health Home

Newborn Screening: Specimen Collection

The Newborn Screening Laboratory uses filter paper specimens that are collected by heel stick on the Newborn Screening Form, DHHS 3105. Below are the steps to collect the blood sample for a newborn screening test. The collection steps are also included on the back of DHHS 3105 form.

Newborn Screening Form Training

  • Complete all information on Newborn Screening Form, DHHS 3105. Do not contaminate filter paper circles by allowing the circles to come in contact with spills or by touching before or after blood collection. Retain the "Keep for your records" portion.
  • Warm Heel to be pricked. Warm site with soft cloth, moistened with warm water up to 41 degrees Celsius for three to five minutes or use an approved commercial warmer according to manufacturer’s instructions.
  • Cleanse Site. Cleanse site with 70% isopropyl alcohol prep pad. Wipe dry with sterile gauze pad.
  • Puncture Heel. Puncture heel and wipe away first blood drop with sterile gauze pad. Allow another LARGE blood drop to form.
  • Apply Blood to Filter Paper. Lightly touch filter paper to LARGE blood drop. Allow blood to soak through and completely fill circle with SINGLE application of the LARGE blood drop. Apply blood once to one side of filter paper only.
  • Fill Remaining Circles. Fill remaining circles in the same manner as above step, with additional blood drops.
  • Dry Blood Spots. Allow the blood samples to dry for a minimum of three hours on a flat non-absorbent surface.
  • Mail Blood Spots to Laboratory. Mail completed form to the testing laboratory within 24 hours of collection. DO NOT HOLD SAMPLES.

Do not package forms in plastic bags for mailing. All collections kits can be ordered from the North Carolina State Laboratory mailroom by using the portal system to order supplies.

Note: The Newborn Screening filter form is also used to record newborn hearing screening data.

Newborn Screening Information