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A small lancet (designed for babies) is used to make a small cut on your baby's heel. A few drops of blood are collected and put on a collection card, which is then sent to a state public health laboratory who conducts the testing. The cut usually stops bleeding with a bandage or light pressure. The potential benefits of newborn screening far outweigh the temporary discomfort that comes from the screening.
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Blood spots are collected by a healthcare provider trained in the collection process. The medical professional will use a heel lancet to collect blood on a specific type of filter paper. Once the specimen has dried, it is sent to the Kansas Health and Environmental Laboratories (KHEL) by express mail or courier and should arrive within 24 hours of collection.
KHEL then tests the specimens on various devices and instruments validated for newborn screening. If one or more of the screens return with an out-of-range result, the child’s parents and primary care provider are notified by the Newborn Screening Follow-Up Program that the baby needs additional testing.
The Newborn Screening program will notify your baby's provider of record. If there is an abnormal or out-of-range result, you will get a letter informing you about next steps. It is a good practice to ask about your baby's screening results at your baby's first well-child checkup.
The NBS Follow-up Team will contact your baby’s provider of record with the screening results and next steps for your baby. You should receive a call from your baby’s provider with information about the screening results and explain that additional testing is needed to confirm or rule out the initial results. An abnormal or out-of-range result does not always mean your baby has a medical condition, and more testing may be needed. If additional testing is required, please make arrangements for this to be done as soon as possible.
Blood Specimens with normal results are destroyed one month after being received. Abnormal specimens may be used for validation purposes, but all personal identifiable information is removed. Parents may request that their baby's specimen not be used for these purposes by submitting their request in writing to Neonatal Laboratory Manager Kansas Health and Environmental Laboratories, 6810 SE Dwight Street, Topeka, KS 66620.