How to Collect a Dry Blood Spot Sample?

Collecting dry blood spot (DBS) samples is a relatively straightforward process providing instructions are followed and samples are not contaminated before drying. DBS sampling is used in many applications and offers several advantages over the typical venous blood collecting methods. This blog post will cover how a dry blood spot sample is collected and what applications benefit from this method.

What is Dry Blood Spot Sampling?

Dry (or dried) blood spot (DBS) sampling is a method of bio-sampling in which blood samples are spotted and dried onto absorbent filter paper. Although DBS is a method that was first mentioned in 1913, it has become more prominently used since the 1960s because samples are easily stored at room temperature. Other benefits are the procedure is less invasive and reduces the risk of infection to a minimum.

How Do You Collect Dry Blood Spot Samples?

All of our DBS sampling cards at RDA Spot come with clear instructions, which can also be downloaded from our website. The blood samples can be obtained by pricking a fingertip and allowing a few droplets of blood to saturate the paper. Once dried and packaged safely, these samples are sent to a dedicated laboratory where tests are carried out.

  • First, wash your hands with warm water and soap and then dry them
  • The sample card then needs to be removed from the card sleeve whilst keeping the sleeve safe for obtaining test results.
  • The patient should then wave their hand down for 20 seconds to help stimulate the blood flow in the hand.
  • Using an alcohol wipe, wipe the middle finger and let it air dry.
  • Prick the tip of the middle finger with the lancet provided to initiate the blood spot collection – disposal must comply with local legislation on disposing of sharps and blood products.
  • Fill each of the three circles with a large droplet of blood and then put a band-aid over the finger.
  • The DBS sampling card needs to be placed back inside the card sleeve and left to dry for 3 hours, after which it should be put into an aluminium foil bag and sealed.
  • The sample will then be ready to be sent for testing, and patients can check the results by using the QR code on the tear-off strip from the card sleeve.

Applications of Dry Blood Spot Sampling

DBS sampling has been used in many applications over the last 30 years. These applications include communicable diseases, drug studies, environmental research, forensics, toxicology and other research.


This blood sampling collection method is a way to safely and conveniently diagnose infectious diseases as well as being favored for drug research and development in the pharmaceutical industry. At RDA Spot, we are creating new possibilities for home testing by using DBS to test your cholesterol, fatty acids, fertility hormones, testosterone, vitamins and many other biomarkers. By making this DBS testing available for home use, you can check your health status in the comfort of your own home without having to travel and provide liquid blood.

Dry Blood Spot Sampling with RDA Spot

RDA Spot provides a certified and CE IVD marked Dried Blood Spot sample collection kit that helps to obtain blood samples quickly and safely. No specialist equipment is required, meaning the samples can be taken anywhere and at any time. 

We also provide clients with the option to customize the DBS sample collection card and kit, and we are more than happy to work with your design and branding. Additionally, we can also provide translations of the user manual if required and legal IVD registration services.

For more information on our DBS sampling products and laboratory services, please do not hesitate to contact us.