States Need Better Policies Governing the Storage of Surplus Blood Samples for Newborns

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State laws and policies governing the storage and use of surplus blood samples taken from newborns as part of the routine health screening process range from explicit to non-existent, leaving many parents ill-informed about how their babies’ left over blood might be used, according to a team led by a member of the Johns Hopkins Berman Institute of Bioethics, in collaboration with researchers from the University of Utah. A report on their analysis of the subject is published March 28 in the journal Pediatrics.

The study is believed to be one of the first to provide in-depth analysis of the nation’s fragmented newborn screening blood use policies. The authors say that their findings underscore the need for a comprehensive and transparent approach. At a minimum, all states should require that parents be fully informed about how babies’ blood samples left over after the screening procedure will be stored and how they might be used, according to Michelle H. Lewis, M.D., J.D.,  Continue reading