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Pulse Oximetry Law Goes into Effect in Tennessee

by on Monday, January 7, 2013

On January 1, a new state law went into effect mandating that children will be screened at birth for Critical Congenital Heart Defects (CCHD). 

The Tennessee government relations staff worked extensively with the Tennessee Department of Health and Senate sponsor, Doug Overbey, himself diagnosed with a CCHD, to ensure doctors can detect CCHD early and provide immediate care that will reduce their future heart complications and extend their lives.

Congenital heart disease is responsible for more deaths in the first year of life than any other birth defects.  Although few newborns in Tennessee have heart defects, they can be fatal if not treated.

A pulse oximeter is a non-evasive device which uses a light emitter with infrared LEDs that shines through a reasonably translucent site with good blood flow.  It is usually attached to the infant’s foots of the palm of the hand. The procedure allows medical professionals to evaluate any potential problems with CCHD.

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