CHD & Pulse Oximetry Screening Awareness Day took place at the Pennsylvania State Capitol on Monday, April 28. More than 40 American Heart Association volunteers came to the capitol for a day filled with legislative training, a press conference on the importance of pulse oximetry screening for newborns, and visits with their Senate members. We were honored to have five children with congenital heart defects in attendance. Each child took some time to write/draw messages to legislators about the importance of saving small hearts. (group photo taken by Bryan Shattuck)
Advocates asked for support of House Bill 1420, a bill that would ensure that all newborns are screened for congenital heart defects using pulse oximetry. Pulse oximetry is a simple, low-cost, non-invasive screening test that can be performed in as little as 45 seconds.
Volunteers came back from their legislative meetings energized by the process and the opportunity to make a difference by telling their personal stories. Our efforts did pay off! The Senate Public Health & Welfare Committee will be voting on House Bill 1420 on Wednesday, May 7th. This is a major hurdle to clear and we thank all of our advocates that have been speaking out on this issue. As the bill continue to move forward, we will keep everyone updated on its progress.