It’s all about to unfold. You’re the Cure advocates in Maryland are preparing for efforts that will provide newborns screening for Critical Congenital Heart Defects (CCHD). Jennifer Witten, Government Relations Director managing this issue for Maryland, says, “This would be a tremendous advancement in saving lives, and it is very doable with the strong support of our advocates.” Congenital Heart Disease (CHD) is the most common birth defect. Approximately 8 out of 1,000 infants born have some form of CHD.
Advocates are needed to inform others and their legislators about the importance of this issue and its potential to make a huge difference for the people and families it affects. We need the firm voice of each advocate insisting that this issue be addressed in Maryland, and we need our advocates encouraging friends and family to help support the cause. Our goal is to ensure that every birthing facility in Maryland provides CCHD screening before the baby is discharged from its care. That would be a very good thing.
Screening for CCHD (called Pulse Oximetry, or Pulse Ox screening) is low cost, and recommended as one of a battery of screenings already performed for early detection of possible life-threatening problems in newborn babies. Twenty-five percent of babies born with CHD are critical cases and need surgery immediately. U.S. Secretary of Health Sebelius has recommended Pulse Oximetry testing be added to the Uniform Screening Panel for newborns. This small investment can save a family untold heartache, and many dollars in health care costs.
Watch for email alerts to keep you in the loop on this issue and provide opportunities to encourage your legislators and others to get on board. Also, if you or your family has been directly impacted by this critical condition, be sure to pop over to our Share Your Story page to tell us about your experience. Real stories from real advocates bring our campaign to life in a hard-to-ignore way!