Newborn Screening - Use and Storage of Dried Blood Spots after NBS


DSHS Use and Storage of Dried Blood Spots

What happens to the blood spot card after testing?

DSHS keeps the  blood spot cards in a secure place. By Texas law (Health & Safety Code Sec. 33.018) the blood spots may be used until DSHS is required to destroy them pursuant to parental directive (or destroys them pursuant to agency records retention policy). Permissible uses include:

    • DSHS and external quality assurance to make sure tests, equipment, and supplies are working right
    • Developing new tests; and/or
    • DSHS studies of diseases that affect public health.

Additionally, if the parent gives their OK, blood spots collected on or after June 1, 2012 may be used for public health research outside of DSHS. Blood spots used outside DSHS will not include any information that can identify the child or parent, unless the parent provides a separate, specific consent.

DSHS storage of residual blood spots is governed by Texas law as detailed in the chart below:


Received by DSHS prior to May 27, 2009

Specimen Collection Date

May 27, 2009 through
May 31, 2012

June 1, 2012 or Later

Blood Spot Storage after Completion of the Newborn Screening Tests


Blood spots received by DSHS prior to May 27, 2009, for which written consent to retain was not given, have all been destroyed.

All blood spots are stored indefinitely, unless DSHS receives a Directive to Destroy Newborn Screening Blood Spot Card Following Testing form.

All blood spots are stored for up to 2 years and then destroyed unless the parent submits a completed Parental Decision form allowing for longer storage.

Click here to learn more about potential public health uses for blood spot cards after testing is completed.


Upon collection of each newborn screening specimen, healthcare providers MUST distribute a Decision form to parents.

Specimens collected May 27, 2009 through May 31, 2012

Parents can request destruction of their child's Newborn Screening Specimens collected May 27, 2009 through May 31, 2012 by submitting the form below to the DSHS.

Additional Information
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Last updated March 1, 2019