Hearing screening and heel prick test (blood sample)

Examination of the newborn

About the tests

You will be offered a heel prick test for your child, also known as a blood spot test. We will examine the blood sample from the child's heel for 18 congenital diseases. The blood sample is taken between 48 to 72 hours after birth. We will also check your child’s hearing, known as a hearing screening. The hearing test will show whether your child has normal hearing. Your child uses their hearing to develop language and to develop both socially and psychologically. Detecting any reduced hearing early improves our chances of helping your child gain normal or better hearing.

Expect to be at the hospital for around 20 minutes for the tests. However, there may be some waiting time.

You have an appointment on


Date: ______________________              at: _________________

Check where to go for the test under ‘Contact’.

Important preparation

Contact us if you have to cancel or if you are delayed

Contact us of you are delayed, need to cancel or have questions about the tests. You can find our phone number under ‘Contact’.

Arrive well ahead of time if you are driving

It can be difficult to find a parking place at the hospital. Leave enough time to find parking.
Read more about parking at the hospital on our website www.herlevhospital.dk/parkering.

Leave siblings at home

We recommend that you do not bring along any siblings as we need complete silence during the hearing test.

Your child should be asleep during the hearing test

It helps if your child is asleep during the hearing test. Try keeping your child awake before the test, and make sure to change and feed your child to encourage sleep.

At the hospital

Turn off your phone

To ensure a quiet environment, please turn off your phone while we test your child’s hearing.

The hearing test

A small earpiece will be placed in your child’s ear. The earpiece will make gentle clicking sounds in your child’s ear canal. When the inner ear, also called the cochlea, registers a sound, the ear should echo it. The earpiece catches the echo. This is how we test your child’s hearing.
In some cases, the earpiece will not register an echo. This does not necessarily mean that your child cannot hear. The lack of echo can be caused by vernix caseosa in the ear canal, too much background noise, restlessness in your child or a machine malfunction. It is normal for your child to have vernix caseosa in the ear canal, this will go away on its own.
You will be offered a new hearing test appointment if the earpiece does not register an echo.

Heel prick test

We collect a blood sample by pricking the heel of your child. We will collect a few drops of blood into a small tube. We will then send the blood sample for testing.

Test results

You will know the results of the hearing test immediately. If repeated tests show that your child is likely to have reduced hearing, we will offer additional tests. Your post code will determine which hospital will carry out the tests. You will be notified by mail or digital post.

Blood test results

You will only receive the blood test results if we find signs of illness. In this case, a paediatrician will go over the next steps with you. You will receive the blood test results within a week if they show signs of illness.

For more information

You can read more about the heel prick test at www.ssi.dk, the Statens Serum Institut website. Search for ‘Screening for medfødte sygdomme’ (in Danish only).