Recently the New York Times published an article talking about Pulse Ox titled “The Simple Test That Saved My Baby” stating that “The new screening is recommended by the United States Department of Health and Human Services, the American Heart Association and the American Academy of Pediatrics. Yet more than a dozen states — including populous ones like Massachusetts, Pennsylvania, Florida, Georgia, Wisconsin and Washington — do not yet require it.”
Kansas is among those states that do not require it.
So what is Pulse Ox and why should you care? This basic test consists of sensors placed on a baby's hand and foot to check for low blood oxygen levels - a significant indicator of heart issues in babies. It’s quick, painless and inexpensive.
While the test is not currently required in the state of Kansas, many hospitals have taken the initiate to do this test on their own accord. However, if it were performed on EVERY baby prior to leaving the hospital additional lives would be saved because congenital heart defects are the most common birth defect in the U.S. and the leading killer of infants with birth defects.
We need your help. Efforts are under way to encourage the non-participating hospitals to start voluntarily performing Pulse Ox on all newborns, but in the meantime you can:
- Follow this link to email your lawmaker about Pulse Ox in Kansas and then let us know if you hear back from them and what they are saying!
- As we move forward on this issue, identifying people who have been impacted by congenital heart disease will be critical to our efforts. Is that you? Share your story!
Bottom line is this: When a baby is born, there is so much to be excited about. Is it a boy or a girl? Who does she look like? What color is his hair? But at the end of the day, parents just want a healthy baby. If we can help save a child’s life with a simple test, shouldn’t we?