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New Pulse Ox Law Takes Effect August 15

by Krystle R. on Thursday, August 1, 2013

Great news! The Louisiana pulse oximetry law is almost in effect.

Starting on August 15, all 60,000 babies born in Louisiana each year will be screened for congenital heart defects using pulse oximetry. The new law, passed during the 2013 legislative session, adds pulse oximetry to the list of required  tests for newborns. The pulse ox test is simple and non-invasive. By placing a clamp around an infant’s foot, finger or wrist, a newborn’s oxygen levels and heart rate can be determined. If newborns have oxygen levels below 95 percent, follow up tests will be performed because they might have heart defects.

Congenital heart defects are the number one killer of infants with birth defects. These defects range in severity from simple holes or murmurs to severe malformations, such as the complete absence of one or more chambers or valves. Some critical congenital heart defects can cause severe and life-threatening symptoms, which require intervention within the first days of life, making early detection of heart defects important.

Thank you again to all of the advocates and survivors who voiced their support to the legislature and helped us pass this important policy, especially Representative Ledricka Thierry, our bill sponsor, and Dr. Jason Turner, a pediatric cardiologist who testified in legislative committee.

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