What is dried blood spot testing, when is it appropriate and how should it be done?

Dried blood spot testing (DBS) is a testing process that uses drops of dried blood on a piece of filter paper. In dried blood spot testing, blood is collected through a finger prick. It is a simpler process than testing using blood plasma or serum drawn from a vein by a needle in a number of ways. A lower volume of blood is needed, blood transport and storage are simpler, and less equipment is required. 

Dried bloodspot testing for Hepatitis C is appropriate in situations where patients have poor or inaccessible venous access, needle phobia, where patients may feel “triggered” if they have a history of previous IV drug use or in cases where patients refuse bloodwork and are known to have a history of Hepatitis C and are at risk of infecting other members in their community which can lead to the spreading of Hepatitis C.

The challenge many providers face, is the difficulty in obtaining sufficient blood from one finger to fully saturate all 5 circles on the piece of filter DBS paper.

HepCURE is pleased to be able to share its technique for dried bloodspot testing. It requires less than 2 minutes and can be easily performed by collecting blood from any patient by positioning their arm in a downward position (as blood flows downwards), collecting the blood and moving the filtered paper in a circular motion so that the blood drops can spread evenly across the filer paper to completely fill the circles more easily; which is essential to avoid rejected samples.