These guidelines provide scientific information for policy development by state health departments considering appropriate use of newborn screening specimens after screening tests are finished. Information was collected, debated, and formulated into a policy statement by the Newborn Screening Committee of the Council of Regional Networks for Genetic Services (CORN), a federally funded national consortium of representatives from 10 regional genetics networks. Newborn screening programs vary widely in approaches and policies concerning residual dried blood spot samples (DBS) collected for newborn screening. Recognition of the epidemiological utility of DBS samples for HIV seroprevalence surveys and a growing interest in DBSs for DNA analysis has intensified consideration of issues regarding retention, storage, and use of residual DBS samples. Potentially these samples provide a genetic material 'bank' for all newborns nationwide. Their value as a resource for other uses has already been recognized by scientists, administrators, and judicial officials. Programs should promulgate rules for retention and use of residual newborn screening DBS samples based on scientifically valid information. Banking of newborn samples as sources of genetic material should be considered in light of potential benefit or harm to society.
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