Newborn Drug Testing Lab

Meconium Drug Testing


USDTL was the first laboratory to commercially introduce meconium testing to the market in 1991 and we have been seen as the leaders in newborn toxicology ever since.

Meconium contains the amniotic fluid swallowed by the fetus in the last half of pregnancy and is released as the first stools after birth. Meconium is easier to collect than neonatal urine and provides a much longer window of exposure of up to approximately 20 weeks.

Meconium specimens can only be submitted through hospital or health system accounts.



Drug Panels

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Amphetamines
amphetamine, MDA, MDMA, methamphetamine
Cannabinoids
carboxy-THC
Cocaine
benzoylecgonine, cocaethylene, cocaine, meta- hydroxybenzoylecgonine
Opiates
codeine, hydrocodone, hydromorphone, morphine
Phencyclidine
phencyclindine (PCP)
Methadone
EDDP, methadone
Barbiturates
amobarbital, butalbital, pentobarbital, phenobarbital, secobarbital
Benzodiazepines
oxazepam
Propoxyphene
norpropoxyphene
Oxycodone
oxycodone
Meperidine
normeperidine
Tramadol
tramadol
Buprenorphine
buprenorphine, norbuprenorphine
Fentanyl
fentanyl, norfentanyl
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*Click the green and white plus sign beside each drug class to view the substances within each class.
Add-Ons Available
FAEE (Direct Ethanol Biomarker)
Fatty Acid Ethyl Ester
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Collection

Collection Instructions
Client Services

By Phone: 1.800.235.2367

Business Hours (CST)

Monday 6am - 8pm
Tuesday 6am - 8pm
Wednesday 6am - 8pm
Thursday 6am - 8pm
Friday 6am - 8pm
Saturday 8am - 5pm

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Testing Details

Panel Name: MeconiumTesting

Panel Description: Meconium Testing Drug Panel

Type: Profile

Matrix: Meconium

Collection Container: Leakproof Polypropylene

Collection Notes: Pool of Multiple Collections

Sample Amount: 3 grams     (We recommend weighing the specimen on a jeweler's scale.)

Storage Conditions: Refrigerated

Transport Conditions: Ambient

Method: Initial screen and confirmation

Turnaround Time: Generally, the standard turnaround time for reporting negative screening test results is the next business day, with an additional 1-2 business days for specimens that require confirmatory testing. Turnaround time begins from receipt of the valid specimen – accompanied by a properly documented valid order – into the laboratory. Some tests require additional time to process and will fall outside the standard turnaround time window.

  • References
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Can a hair test be manipulated by the donor?

Yes. Bleaching, perming, dyeing and straightening can affect the outcome of a hair test. Cosmetically treated hair should not be collected.

Can the reported quantitation of drug or metabolite in hair, nail, meconium, umbilical cord, or urine be used to determine the timing of the drug use, how often the donor uses the drug, or the extent of the donor's drug use?

No, when testing a reservoir specimen type, a specimen type where analytes tend to accumulate, you may not backtrack to determine time, dosage, or frequency. The result is positive or negative for the appropriate detection window associated with the specimen type.

How does using a forensic drug test help the child later in life?

There are several reasons why testing a newborn for potential substances is important. Early detection provides many more options than detection at a later stage in the child's life including:

  • Early detection of alcohol biomarkers allows newborns to be identified and enrolled into early intervention and community programs. New programs are showing dramatic improvements in children identified earlier in life.
  • Detection of an exposed child can allow help, intervention and treatment to be offered to the mother, so that exposure during future pregnancies may be prevented.
  • The forensic identification of fetal alcohol exposure allows future corroboration of alcohol related disorders in childhood.

How much meconium is needed for the test?

A minimum of 3 grams of meconium (about a teaspoon) is normally required. However, for best results, we recommend collection of the entire passage of meconium until the milk stool appears.

What are the meconium specimen storage requirements?

Drugs and metabolites are stable in meconium for up to 2 weeks at room temperature. Storage in a refrigerator or freezer is preferred. Alcohol biomarkers specifically fatty acid ethyl esters (FAEE), are sensitive to heat and light; therefore, the preferred shipping method is frozen on dry ice. Since shipping via this method is both difficult and expensive, most institutions send specimens at room temperature and realize that the FAEE concentrations may be reduced. USDTL accept specimens that are shipped at room temperature.

What is meta-hydroxybenzoylecgonine (m-OH-BZE)?

Meta-hydroxybenzoylecgonine (m-OH-BZE) is a metabolite of cocaine which is often present in the meconium of neonates born to cocaine-using mothers. It is a minor metabolite in adults, but it has been identified as the only cocaine metabolite present in 23 percent of meconium specimen screening positively for cocaine.*


*Reference: Lewis D, Moore C, Becker J, Leikin J. Prevalence of meta-hydroxybenzoylecgonine (m-OH-BZE) in meconium samples. Bulletin of the lnt.Ass.Forens Toxicol 1995;25(3):33-36

What is the turnaround time for testing results?

Generally, the standard turnaround time for reporting negative screening test results is the next business day, with an additional 1-2 business days for specimens that require confirmatory testing. Turnaround time begins from receipt of the valid specimen -accompanied by a properly documented valid order- into the laboratory. Some tests require additional time to process and will fall outside the standard turnaround time window.




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1.800.235.2367

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