Guest Blogger: Jacqueline Hernandez
The most rewarding aspect about my job has to be working on influential legislation that often saves the lives of many including the amazing staff and volunteers I have the privilege of working with on a daily basis. For example, when our Advocacy Team took on the task of advocating to help pass pulse oximetry screening legislation nationwide, I had no idea the huge, immediate impact that this would have on the lives of newborns, families and the nation. Critical congenital heart defects are the leading birth defects affecting newborns in the United States, but early detection via pulse oximetry and early treatment can make all the difference.
Ten days after the implementation (July 1st, 2013) of pulse oximetry screening in multiple states: including California, Connecticut and others, I was told the story about Michael Grabell’s child who was born with a critical congenital heart defect in a Connecticut hospital. Please find his moving story here. Additionally please click here to meet Carlee, the first baby saved by pulse oximetry screening in California.
Why does receiving a relatively inexpensive, simple test have to be based on the luck of the draw for new parents to be? As of today, hospitals in Idaho, Montana, Arizona, Hawaii, Washington, and many more states still do not require pulse oximetry screening at the time of the birth of a newborn. Imagine how many newborn lives we can save if every state in the nation implemented pulse oximetry screening to their newborn screening panels.
Let’s continue to save lives and continue to advocate for heart saving legislation and medical breakthroughs!