With only 2 days left in the legislative session, Governor Heineman signed the Newborn Critical Congenital Heart Disease Screening Act into law! This law requires that all Nebraska newborns will have to be screened for critical congenital heart defects before going home from the hospital. HHS will be tasked with promulgating the rules and regulations for the bill, but we expect pulse oximetry to become part of the rules/regs when they are completed.
Pulse oximetry screening is effective at determining life-threatening heart defects. New research suggests that when all infants are screened using pulse oximetry in conjunction with the routine practices, CCHD can be detected in over 90% of newborns with CCHD. Pulse oximetry screening is a low-cost, non-invasive and painless bedside diagnostic test that can be completed by a technician in as little as 45 seconds.
According to Brian Krannawitter, AHA Government Relations Director in Nebraska, "It was a great experience working on this bill and very rewarding working with so many survivors, volunteers and staff who rallied around this issue."