Charles Richard Drew was born in 1904 in Washington D.C. He graduated from McGill University in Canada with a standard Doctor of Medicine and Master of Surgery degree. His doctoral thesis was called "Banked Blood," based on an exhaustive study of blood preservation techniques. He earned a Doctor of Science in Medicine degree in 1940, becoming the first African American to do so. 

Drew started what would later be known as bloodmobiles, which were trucks that used refrigerators to store blood. He also created a central location for blood collection and the processing of plasma. He made sure that only trained professionals handled blood and blood plasma to avoid the possibility of contamination.

Today our national blood bank system is playing an important role in helping those affected by COVID-19 through the use of convalescent plasma therapy.

Learn more about Charles Richard Drew:
U.S. National Library of Medicine
American Chemical Society
U.S. National Library of Medicine (2021). The Charles R. Drew PapersBiographical Overview | Charles R. Drew - Profiles in Science (
American Chemical Society (2021) Father of the Blood BankCharles Richard Drew - American Chemical Society (
We’ve been seeing very long shipping times for specimens that are shipped using the United States Postal Service, even when shipping “Priority Mail.” Specimens shipped via United States Postal service are likely to be more than 10 old when they arrive at our laboratory, making the specimen unsatisfactory and requiring another specimen to be collected. To prevent unnecessary recollections, please ship specimens using FedEx Overnight or UPS Next Day Air.

When sending a package by FedEx Overnight or UPS Next Day Air on a Friday, please be sure to check the "Saturday Delivery" box, otherwise the package may not arrive at the lab until Monday.
February is Critical Congenital Heart Disease(CCHD) Awareness Month and the Kansas Newborn Screening Program helps families by detecting this time critical condition before it can cause permanent disability or death. This is accomplished by performing a painless test called Pulse Oximetry, which measures the level of oxygen in the infant's blood.

In 2019 there were 33,145 infants screened for CCHD in Kansas, representing about 90% of all Kansas newborns. Of the infants screened, 45 of them had lower levels of oxygen, which was an indication that the child may have CCHD. Of those 45 infants, additional diagnostic testing showed that 7 of them had a critical defect that required immediate intervention to prevent severe disability or death.

The most common types of CCHD in the United States are as follows:
  1. Coarctation of the Aorta (1 in 1,800 per live births)
  2. Tetralogy of Fallot (1 in 2,518 per live births)
  3. d-Transposition of the Great Arteries (1 in 3,413 per live births)
  4. Hypoplastic Left Heart Syndrome (1 in 3,841 per live births)
CDC. (2020). Critical Congenital Heart Defects
CDC. (2020). What are Congenital Heart Defects
American Academy of Pediatrics. (2021). Program to Enhance the Health & Development of Infants and Children (PEHDIC)
Newborn Screening Webinar Schedule - March & April

The Blood Spot Collection Techniques Training - Detailed review of the blood spot collection process and step by step instructions on how to collect blood spot specimens.
  • March
    • 03/02 @ 11:00 a.m. - 12:15 p.m.
    • 03/03 @ 7:30 p.m. - 8:45 p.m.
  • April
    • 04/06 @ 11:00 a.m. - 12:15 p.m.
    • 04/07 @ 7:30 p.m. - 8:45 p.m.
KS Newborn Screening Basics & Metabolic Process Review - High level review of newborn screening's history and detailed review of the KS Newborn Screening Program's structure and metabolic screening process.  Intended for physicians and screening collectors, this training provides a full context for what newborn screening is, why we do it, and who is responsible for what throughout the process.
  • March
    • 03/09 @ 11:00 a.m. - 12:15 p.m.
    • 03/10 @ 7:30 p.m. - 8:45 p.m.
  • April
    • 04/13 @ 11:00 a.m. - 12:15 p.m.
    • 04/14 @ 7:30 p.m. - 8:45 p.m.
Register with the links below.
RIGISTER HERE - Collection Technique (11:00 am)
REGISTER HERE - Collection Technique (7:30 pm)
REGISTER HERE - NBS Basics (11:00 am)
REGISTER HERE - NBS Basics (7:30 pm)
The Kansas Newborn Screening Program is only successful when we receive quality specimens in a timely manner. While doing collection, it's important to remember the "24 - 4 - 24" rule. Collect at 24 hours after birth, let the specimen dry for at least 4 hours, then ship to our lab so that it arrives within 24 hours after collection. 

Here are some additional tips to help your facility be successful with blood spot collection.
  1. Have a coworker double check your demographics and the quality of the blood spots. If the blood spots do not look satisfactory, discard the filter paper and collect again.
  2. Don't touch anything to the filter paper other than the blood.
  3. Don't send to our office using the United States Postal Service.
  4. Dry the specimens so that the filter paper is horizontal, but not touching anything.
Visit our website for even more tips and toolkits.
EVERY facility that collects blood spot screening specimens should have the following tools:
  • Baby’s First Week poster
  • Blood Spot Unsatisfactory Codes poster
  • Newborn Screening brochures in English and Spanish
  • Timeliness Tips: 24 - 4- 24 poster
If your facility is lacking any of these materials (or need replacements) please reach out to our NBS Public Health Educator: or 785-296-8212
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1000 SW Jackson Suite 220 Topeka, KS 66612

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KDHE Newborn Screening Program · 1000 SW Jackson St Ste 220 · Topeka, KS 66612-1274 · USA

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