An Act Requiring Newborn Pulse Oximetry Screening For Congenital Heart Defects

AHA

AN ACT REQUIRING NEWBORN PULSE OXIMETRY SCREENING
FOR CONGENITAL HEART DEFECTS

Often viewed as a problem of adults, cardiovascular disease also exacts a terrible toll on the young. Congenital heart defects, are the No. 1 birth defect in the U.S. and the No. 1 killer of infants with birth defects.

Congenital heart defects, or flaws in the structure of the heart and blood vessels, are the leading cause of death in newborns, but outcomes can drastically differ if the condition is found early and babies have corrective surgery quickly. Congenital heart defects (CHD) affects approximately seven to nine of every 1,000 live births in the United States. Hospital costs for all individuals with CHD can total $2.6 billion dollars/year and current methods for detecting congenital heart defects include prenatal ultrasound screening and repeated clinical examinations can identify many affected newborns; these screenings, alone, identify less than half of all cases, and critical congenital heart defect cases are often missed during routine clinical exams performed prior to a newborn’s discharge from a birthing facility.

Researchers suggested that a pulse oximetry, or pulse ox, a low-cost, non-invasive device that tests patients’ blood oxygen levels, is more accurate at detecting such heart conditions than a standard clinical examination, and it should be used as routine assessment in all newborns before they leave the hospital. The sensitivity of the test is higher than present strategies based on antenatal screening and clinical examination, and the false-positive rate is very low, especially when done after 24 hours of birth. The device can show an accuracy rate of 99.9 percent, and detects 76.5 percent of all congenital heart-defect cases and has a low false-positive rate of .14 percent.

Nine states have passed legislation requiring critical congenital heart defect screening for newborns, including, New Jersey, Indiana, Maryland, Tennessee, West Virginia, California, New Hampshire, Virginia, and Connecticut. It is estimated that 8.9% of newborns in the US are currently being screened for CCHD using pulse ox, but numbers expected to increase into the double digits by 2013.

LEAD SPONSOR SENATOR DOWNING (SD#1108) AND REPRESENTATIVE GARLICK (HD#505)

FOR MORE INFORMATION, PLEASE CONTACT:

AMERICAN HEART ASSOCIATION, ALLYSON PERRON AT 781-373-4522 OR ALLYSON.PERRON@HEART.ORG

MARCH OF DIMES, MICHAEL VIGNEUX AT 508-329-2824 MVIGNEUX@MARCHOFDIMES.COM

SAVE BABIES THROUGH SCREENING FOUNDATION, JILL LEVY FISCH AT 914-588-1127 OR JF2545@AOL.COM

To download this information in a printable flyer, please click here: Joint Pulse Ox Fact Sheet.

Blog posts are written by both Save Babies Through Screening Foundation representatives and others not officially affiliated with the foundation. Posts do not necessarily reflect the views of SBTS. Posts are not medical advice. Please talk to your physician.

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