Newborn Screening Program Information:
Blood Spots and Test Results: Retention Practices

Complete punchDuring the 2014 legislative session, the Minnesota legislature made changes to Minnesota’s newborn screening law. As a result, retention practices regarding blood spots and blood spot test results are determined by when the blood spots were collected.

Blood spots collected on or after August 1, 2014 and their test results

As of August 1, 2014, the Newborn Screening Program may store blood spots collected on or after August 1, 2014 and their test results indefinitely and may use them for program operations as defined by Minnesota Statute 144.125. Blood spots collected on or after August 1, 2014 and their test results are automatically retained by the program unless a parent or guardian directs MDH to destroy them.

Blood spots collected before August 1, 2014 and their test results

Newborn screening blood spots collected before August 1, 2014 and their test results are destroyed according to the following timelines, unless a parent or guardian gives written consent for their extended storage and use:

  • MDH destroys blood spots with negative test results within 78 days of the date MDH receives the newborn screening card.
  • MDH destroys blood spots with positive test results within 24 months and one week of the date MDH receives the newborn screening card.
  • MDH destroys all test results within 25 months of the last date they are reported.

It is not necessary for parents to direct the Newborn Screening Program to destroy blood spots collected before August 1, 2014 and their test results. Their destruction is required by Minnesota law and happens as part of routine practice.

(Retention practices for hearing screening results were not changed during the 2014 legislative session. Unless parents direct MDH to discontinue storing results, they are stored for a period not to exceed 18 years from an infant’s date of birth.)

For more information about parental options regarding the retention and/or destruction of test results and blood spots, please refer to the Parental Options page.