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We’re fighting heart disease in babies!

by on Monday, September 10, 2012

During the 2012 legislative session, the Alabama House of Representatives passed House Resolution 318.  The resolution commends the Alabama Department of Public Health (ADPH) for their efforts to implement mandatory pulse oximetry screening on all Alabama newborns prior to discharge.  It also commends the American Heart Association, Alabama Chapter-American Academy of Pediatrics and the Alabama Hospital Association for collaborative efforts around pulse oximetry screening.

Congenital malformations are one of the leading causes of infant death in the United States, and critical congenital cardiac defects are responsible for more deaths than any other type of malformation.  Routine pulse oximetry performed on asymptomatic newborns after 24 hours of life, but before hospital discharge, may detect critical congenital heart disease.  Currently in Alabama, forty-seven of the fifty-two birthing facilities implement pulse oximetry screening per the Alabama Department of Public Health-approved protocol.  In 2013, the state is expected to add critical congenital heart defects to the recommended screening panel for Alabama newborns.

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Comments (1)

  • I am so thankful for all the work to implement this policy in ALL hospitals nationwide. My son, Zane, was born with Congenital Heart Disease (CHD). He was what was once called a "Blue Baby". He was saved by the Pulse Oximetry testing and is now 7 years old and a very active little man. He has had 4 open heart surgeries and numerous other surgeries. This screening can and WILL save lives.

    Leigh Anne Sweatt

    — Leigh S.

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