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We Could Be Saving Lives in Massachusetts With A Simple Test!

by Allyson P. on Thursday, August 29, 2013

Pulse Ox is moving! Thank you for our advocates time and effort we are one step closer to hospitals being required to screen newborns for Critical Congenital Heart Defects using Pulse Ox.  Newborn screening is a well-established state-based public health program that involves testing all infants for metabolic, hormonal, genetic, and developmental disorders.  And we believe it’s time for Massachusetts to add Pulse Ox to the mandatory newborn screening panel.  Before a baby leaves the hospital, the test helps identify heart defects, potentially saving its life. 

We know lives will be saved if we require Pulse Ox, one family in California knows this first hand. The Cook family was among the first to benefit from the requirement in California after doctors identified a problem in their daughter, Carlee, with pulse ox, who was born 10 days after the law went into effect. The screening program, which has been mandatory in the state of California since July 1. “We would have taken home what we thought was a healthy child, but could have been fatal,” Tyler Cook said. Carlee underwent heart surgery and is said to be doing fine. Her father, meanwhile, acknowledges the screening program as a “simple test” that likely saved her life. “They put something on her finger, something on her toe, pushed a button on the machine,” Cook said. “Unless you’re paying attention, you don’t know they’re doing it.”

Will you join us in being committed to advancing public policies that will allow children and adults with heart defects to live longer and fuller lives? We are so glad that Carlee was able to be saved and know that is possible in Massachusetts as well!

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Comments (1)

  • My daughter received Pulse Ox when she was born in June, but shouldn''t every baby have the same chance? Wouldn''t you want your child to have a simple, inexpensive test that could save their life?

    — Allyson F.

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