Did you know that some babies born with a heart defect can appear healthy at first and are sent home with their families before a problem is detected? Pulse oximetry is a simple, inexpensive painless bedside test to determine pulse rate and the amount of oxygen in a baby’s blood, which can help detect a critical congenital heart defect (CCHD) before a baby is released from the hospital. This test can take as little as 45 seconds to be completed by a technician.
Here in West Virginia, with the support from our fantastic You’re the Cure advocates, we were able to ensure the legislature acted quickly to pass Pulse Ox legislation in 2012, making WV one of the first states to ensure pulse oximetry would be part of the newborn screening panel. To support our other advocacy efforts, please visit our action center.