Step One New Born Screening Test Specimen Collection Guidelines
Accurate specimen collection is a vital step in the StepOne® screening process. Please review the guidelines to ensure your sample is collected and submitted correctly.
  • Specimens should be collected at the same time as the specimen for state mandated testing. The ideal time for collection is between 24-48 hours of age.
  • If the newborn is discharged before 24 hours of age, a repeat specimen should be collected at about 48 hours of age from the pediatrician. Critically ill newborns should be screened before 48 hours of age.
  • A pre-transfusion specimen is essential. If this is impossible, obtain one specimen at 24-48 hours of age and a repeat specimen 3 days after the last transfusion.
  • If an initial screen is obtained prior to transfusion when the newborn is older than 24 hours of age, a repeat specimen is not necessary.
  • Screening can be done on patients of any age utilizing the filter paper cards with the exception of Cystic Fibrosis screen which is not valid after three months of age.
  • Air-dry the filter paper on a flat surface for three to four hours. Do not heat, stack, or allow the blood spots on the filter paper to touch other surfaces during the drying process.
  • If specimens cannot be sent for analysis immediately, store them in a plastic bag in a freezer (preferably) or a refrigerator.
  • Cord Blood is unacceptable for newborn screening, collect a specimen from the baby at least 24 hours after delivery.
Collection Technique
The healthcare professional will fill each of the four circles on the filter paper with a single, free-flowing drop of blood. Other important instructions include:
  • Do not layer successive drops.
  • Apply blood to only one side of the filter paper.
  • Make sure the blood has saturated through to the back of the filter paper.

Sample collection and handling procedures

Blood spot check

Perkin Elmer genetic laboratory guidelines