Providing dried bood spots is necessary to measure phenylalanine (phe) levels.
The ongoing monitoring of these levels is essential; it enables the dietitian to make dietary recommendations to ensure that the levels are maintained within normal ranges. The dietitian will advise on the frequency of blood spot testing required. It is important to provide good quality blood spots. If poor quality blood spots are received by the laboratory, they may not accept them as the results may be inaccurate.
Blood spot samples are drops of blood, about a centimetre in width, that are placed onto a special testing card. Guthrie Card? Shouldn’t we mention this – parents certainly hear it!
The following steps outline details on obtaining a good quality blood spot for provision to the laboratory...
1. Wash your hands and your baby’s heel if they are very young. As your child gets older and you start to useyour child’s their finger/s/thumb is used, they will also need to wash their hands. s to collect blood spots, you will need to make sure they wash their hands too.
2. Prick their heel, or finger or /thumb.
3. Allow a drop of blood to form.
4. Place the blood spot card up to the drop and allow it to drip onto the a circle on the card, as close to the centre as possible. Do not press the heel, finger or thumb against the card.
5. Repeat step 4 to provide blood into the onto the other 3 (three?) circles on the blood spot card.
6. Once you have finishedcompleted, cover the prick site with a little cotton wool and apply light pressure; this should stop any bleeding almost immediately.
7. Allow the blood spots to absorb into the card, and then air dry, enough so they will lose their initial “wet look”. Once the spots have air dried the card can be placed into the envelope provided before putting the card into the envelope provided (if they are not air dried y then they the spots can stick to the inside of the envelope and damage the card).
8. Send the blood spot sample card back to the hospitalto the hospital laboratory as soon as possible. once you have completed it. This helps to make sure any changes to your child’s diet can be identified quickly by your dietitian. This enables the results to be obtained and enables the dietitian to provide feedback quickly.