Advocate Creates Video for Congenital Heart Disease Screening Using Pulse Oximetry


Donna Ryan, Doctor of Nursing Practice (DNP) student and You’re the Cure advocate has created a great video to help explain the importance of congenital heart disease (CHD) screening using pulse oximetry.   Donna is taking a health policy course and wanted a way to help educate everyone about pulse oximetry.  CHD is the most common birth defect in the United States and the leading killer of infants with birth defects.  Approximately 1 in 125 newborns have a congenital heart defect and about 25% of these have a critical congenital heart defect.  Tragically, more than 1400 children with CHD do not live to celebrate their first birthday.

Those kinds of statistics bring to life how important it is for all babies to be screened.  The reality is a baby can appear healthy and normal in the newborn nursery and then be sent home before the CHD is suspected.  According to the CDC, at least 280 infants with an unrecognized critical CHD are discharged each year from newborn nurseries across the US.  Pulse oximetry is a non-invasive screening test that helps identify newborns with heart defects and potentially save their lives.  The test, pulse oximetry, uses sensors placed on the baby’s hand and foot to check blood oxygen levels.  If the levels are too low, additional tests are conducted to diagnose critical life-threatening heart defects that might otherwise go undetected. 

Thank you Donna for making this video –it’s a creative way to help everyone better understand why all newborns should be screened using pulse oximetry.  Once you have watched this – tell your lawmaker to support requiring all newborns to have CHD screening using pulse oximetry before they are discharged from the birthing center

Check out the video here:

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