When it Takes Four Days for a Blood Sample to Get to the Lab

You’re doing everything right for your newborn baby, including having a heel stick so your child can be tested for a host of genetic abnormalities.

Life is good.

Weeks later, though, you get a phone call saying your baby has a problem that should have been caught right away through the newborn screening process… but wasn’t.

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Why did this happen!?. Source: www.giphy.com

You learn that there was a delay in getting the blood sample from the hospital to the lab. You wonder how that could happen, and why your child is now at risk.

Most hospitals use courier services, but not all do. And if it’s a holiday, or there were a lot of babies born over a short amount of time, mix-ups can happen.

To prevent this from happening, check with the hospital where your baby will be born to find out what procedure they use to transport blood samples.

If you’re not satisfied, involve your OB/GYN.

Babies with certain genetic abnormalities are at risk of serious complications and even death if treatment is delayed even by a few days. Contact your insurance company to ensure newborn screening is covered under your policy, and if for some odd reason, it isn’t, inform the hospital that you want the screening done, anyway–and then ask how they process blood samples.

In this day and age, when information flows faster than the speed of light, it’s amazing to think that something as simple as transporting blood samples between the hospital and the lab could be bungled…but, yes it happens.

Just don’t let it happen to you and your baby.

If your baby has hyperphenylalaninemia, or any other genetic abnormality, you’re going to want to know right away!


Erica Zahn

Erica Zahn

Erica Zahn is passionate about raising awareness of rare diseases and disorders and helping people connect with the resources that may ease their journey. Erica has been a caregiver, and is a patient, herself, so she completely relates to the rare disease community--on a deeply personal level.

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