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January is National Birth Defects Prevention Month

by Kacie K. on Friday, January 25, 2013

January is National Birth Defects Prevention Month and is using the slogan “birth defects are common, costly, and critical.”  Along with trying to provide education about the impact of birth defects on the babies and families that are impacted the National Birth Defects Prevention Network is also working to educate about the importance of keeping pregnant women healthy.

Congenital heart defects are the most common birth defect in the United States and the leading killer of infants with birth defects.  All congenital heart defects may not be able to be prevented, but we know the importance surrounding early detection of congenital heart defects.  Pulse oximetry is a non-invasive screening test that helps identify newborsn with heart defects and potentially save their lifes.

We are currently working to get legislation passed that would mandate hospital complete pulse oximetry testing on newborns before they leave the hospital.  If you have any questions about pulse oximetry and our efforts please contact Betsy Vetter at betsy.vetter@heart.org.

To send a letter to your Legislator encouraging them to support pulse oximetry in hospitals please visit our Action Center.

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