Video - Canadian COVID-19 Antibody and Health Survey

Correction date: April 01, 2022

Release date:
Canadian COVID-19 Antibody and Health Survey - Video transcript

(Statistics Canada symbol and Canada word mark appear on screen with the title: Canadian COVID-19 Antibody and Health Survey)

Thank you for participating in the Canadian Covid-19 Antibody and Health Survey. This video will demonstrate how to provide your dried blood spot sample. Your sample will allow us to better understand the prevalence of COVID-19 antibodies amongst Canadians.

In your package, you will find everything you need to provide your dried blood spot sample. This includes 2 single-use rounded T-shaped lancets, 1 pair of gloves a dried blood spot card (also known as a DBS card), 2 alcohol swabs, 2 gauze pads, 2 bandages, a dehumidifying pack, a humidity indicator card, a small brown envelope, a large resealable plastic bag, a small striped plastic bag and a prepaid return package.

Please note that this test should not be administered if you have a clotting condition such as hemophilia or Von Willebrand disease, if you have had chemotherapy within the last 4 weeks, or if you have undergone a bilateral mastectomy. If you have had a mastectomy only on one side, you may perform the finger prick on the opposite hand. In addition, you should not complete the dried blood spot test if you have experienced fainting or vomiting due to a finger prick or the sight of blood.

If possible, it is best to have another person present while you perform the DBS test. This is so that they can assist you in the event that you experience any adverse effects. They may also be able to help you with some steps of the process if required. Please note: if someone is assisting you or if you are assisting someone else with their DBS test, gloves should be worn to ensure that there will be no contact with another person's blood.

Let's get started.

Write the date in the space indicated on the small brown envelope. Do not write your name or any other information that could identify you. Do not write on the DBS card.

Prepare all the materials before starting the collection, as shown in the picture. We suggest covering the surface of the table with paper towels to absorb any excess drops of blood.

Fold back the flap of your DBS card to uncover the testing area with the 5 circles. Make sure not to touch this area. Your card should look like the card on the photo.

Open the gauze package and a bandage and set aside. You will need these after pricking your finger with the lancet.

Chose which finger you will be using to collect your sample. Only use your middle or ring fingers. It is important that you choose a finger that is not injured or infected.

Make sure your hands are warm. This will improve blood flow. You can do so by rubbing your hands together or moving your arms.

Wash your hands with soap and water before and after the test.

Make sure you are seated comfortably at a clean table with all provided materials within reach.

Hold the white base of the lancet with one hand, and twist off the purple cap with the other. Even with the cap off, you will not see the needle. This is normal.

Use the alcohol swab to clean the entire tip of the chosen finger all the way down to the first knuckle, and allow it to air dry.

Position the lancet on your finger tip. The needle should go across the fingerprint lines, not in the same direction.

Lay the back of your hand against a solid surface.

Use the rounded T-shaped lancet, hold the lancet firmly between your index and major finger of the opposite hand, place the tip of the lancet onto the finger tip, push the button on the top of the lancet with your thumb. You will hear a click and feel it prick your finger.

Once a lancet is used, it retracts back into the device, and cannot be activated a second time. Two lancets have been provided in the event that you are unable to complete the test with only one finger prick. Should you choose to do a second finger prick, make sure to use a different finger.

Let a small drop of blood form at your finger tip and wipe it away with a gauze pad. Do not use the alcohol pad to wipe away the drop of blood.

Now it's time to start collecting blood on the card. Gently squeeze your finger from the base towards the tip to help a blood drop form. Once a large drop of blood forms on your fingertip, let the blood fall from your finger onto the card.

The blood should saturate the card and show through the other side. Do not let your finger touch the card.

Fill the first circle completely before moving on to the next. The goal is to fill all 5 circles, but fewer full circles are better than more incomplete circles. If one drop of blood is not enough to fill a circle, aim the next drop of blood beside the first drop until the circle is filled. Avoid layering blood drops directly on top of one another.

This photo demonstrates a good dried blood spot sample compared to a poor quality sample.

If you have attempted the DBS test, you should mail back your DBS card no matter the outcome. Even if you are only able to fill one circle, or if none of your circles are complete, the laboratory will still try to analyze your sample.

After collection, apply firm pressure with gauze until the bleeding has stopped.

Apply a bandage.

Used lancets must be placed in the provided large resealable plastic bag and thrown in the trash.

Place the DBS card in a safe place until it is completely dry. With the flap folded back, allow to dry for at least 3 hours. Do not place it in direct sunlight or near a heater, and keep out of reach of children and pets to avoid contamination.

Once dry, fold the flap back over the blood spots and place it in the small brown envelope. Do not seal the small brown envelope. Place the small brown envelope, the humidity indicator card and the dehumidifying pack inside the small striped plastic bag. Do not place the humidity indicator card in the small brown envelope. Remove as much air from the bag as you can before closing it.

To returnyour DBS test , place your small striped plastic bag in the prepaid, pre-addressed package, seal it and return it as per the carrier instructions.

(Canada wordmark appears on screen.)