What happens to blood spots after newborn screening?
Often parts or whole blood spots end up not being used for newborn screening. Once newborn screening is done, the unused blood spots are labeled with only a numeric code and are stored for up to 100 years. As part of the newborn screening process, some of the residual dried blood spots are used by the MDHHS Laboratory for quality assurance, test improvement and test development. This helps to ensure accurate and timely screening for other babies.
One blood spot is kept by the MDHHS for your personal use, if needed. Parents have used this blood spot to help diagnose a disease in their child or to find reasons for a child’s untimely death.
The rest of the blood spots are de-identified and stored at a secure site, the Michigan Neonatal Biobank. These stored blood spots may be used for approved health research through the Michigan BioTrust for Health.
What is the Michigan BioTrust for Health?
The Michigan BioTrust for Health, also known as the “BioTrust”, is an MDHHS program that oversees the research use of stored blood spots. One purpose of the BioTrust is to allow all groups of Michiganders to play a part in research.
Blood spots can only be used for studies to better understand diseases or to improve the public’s health. Studying blood spots may lead to new newborn screening tests or provide clues about different factors that may impact health. Each study that uses blood spots must be approved by multiple review boards at MDHHS to ensure that subject’s rights are protected and that the study is good science. Information that could identify a person is not given to researchers, unless that person is asked and gives consent.
Blood spots from over four million people are part of the BioTrust. If you or your child we born after 1984, your blood spots may be included. If you or your child’s blood spots are included, you have options!
For more information about the BioTrust and your options, please visit the Michigan BioTrust for Health’s webpage at www.michigan.gov/biotrust and see the supporting resources below.