These are exciting times in VA! Governor McAuliffe has signed House Bill 387 and Senate Bill 183 into law, and pulse oximetry screening of all newborns will soon be the standard of care in Virginia. This new statewide policy will guarantee that each newborn in Virginia is tested for Critical Congenital Heart Defects (CCHD), and that the testing is done in a consistent, scientifically proven manner.
Newborns whose CCHDs go undetected can be discharged from the hospital before their condition is identified and treated. These infants are at risk for serious complications within the first few days or weeks of life, and often require emergency care.
New research suggests that when all infants are screened using pulse oximetry in conjunction with routine practices, CCHD can be detected in over 90% of babies. When identified, these babies can be seen by specialists and receive care to prevent death or disability.
Please take a moment to thank the Commonwealth’s elected officials for unanimously acting to help to save the lives and protect the health of all newborns in Virginia.
See a lucky baby and his mom in the news about this issue on CBS affiliate WUSA9 Feb 21, 2014.