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What happens to your baby's heel prick blood sample

A midwife or nurse takes a few drops of blood from your baby's heel using a special device. They collect the blood onto a special card and send it for testing.

Once the National Newborn Bloodspot Screening Laboratory has checked your baby’s blood sample, they will keep the card securely as part of your baby’s health record for at least 10 years after which it will be disposed of as per current policy.

The card may also be used for:

  • other tests that your doctor recommends for your baby – your doctor will ask for your signed consent
  • quality control purposes to help improve the screening programme as approved by the HSE - all samples will have names removed and it will not be possible to trace any result back to an individual child

Samples are never used for commercial purposes.

page last reviewed: 28/11/2018
next review due: 28/11/2021