How to Collect & Mail

Health Care Providers

It is vital to all of Florida’s newborns that each newborn screening specimen collected is valid and complete in order to be tested. Thousands of specimen cards are sent to the Bureau of Public Health Laboratory in Jacksonville each month where over 1,000 blood samples are tested each day. 

If a specimen card is incomplete or has an unsatisfactory blood spot, this causes delays that has the potential of putting a newborn at risk.

The following six critical fields must be completed to ensure an appropriate care plan is developed for the newborn.

INFANT NAME | DATE OF BIRTH | BIRTH TIME | BIRTH WEIGHT | COLLECTION TIME | COLLECTION WEIGHT

A summary of collection steps is as follows:

Fill out the newborn screening specimen card.

  • View a sample card here.
  • Clearly print ALL information in spaces provided in BLUE or BLACK ink.
  • Check all information for accuracy.

Complete the blood spot collection as soon as possible after the newborn is 24 hours of age.

  • View step-by-step instructions here.
  • Collect blood from a heel stick only, no line draws.
  • ONE large drop of blood per circle. Fill all five circles.
  • Do not use a capillary tube or other collection device as this may damage the card or deposit too much blood.

After Collection.

  • Dry horizontally at room temperature for three to four hours. Drying racks are recommended in order to keep cards separate. Do not allow to dry flat on a surface without the biohazard flap protecting the sample. 
  • Once dry, fold the biohazard flap over the sample. If needed, a paper clip may be used. Do not use tape or staples to seal the biohazard flap.
  • Send the sample via overnight shipping to the Bureau of Public Health Laboratory in Jacksonville within 24 hours of collection. Mark packages for early delivery. Specimens received before 10:00 a.m. will be accessioned for testing the same day they are received. Mark packages sent on Friday for Saturday delivery as the laboratory is open and testing. 

Contact information for Bureau of Public Health Laboratory in Jacksonville:

Mail:
Department of Health
Newborn Screening Laboratory
1217 N. Pearl St.
Jacksonville, FL. 32202

Telephone: (904) 791-1645
Fax: (904) 791-1644