Critical Congenital Heart Disease (CCHD) accounts for 27% of infant deaths that are caused by birth defects - the most common birth defect in the U.S. Early detection is key, which is why advocates across the country are speaking up for a simple, life-saving test for all newborns.
Pulse oximetry screening is a low-cost, highly-effective, and painless bedside test that can be completed in as little as 45 seconds at less than $4 per baby. Already this year, Illinois, Michigan, Missouri, New York, and South Carolina have joined the growing list of nearly 30 states in which all newborns will be screened for CCHD using a pulse ox test. Most other states are either working to pass legislation this year or are developing rules to carry out previously enacted legislation. Just within the last couple weeks, New Mexico’s pulse ox bill passed out of the House of Representatives and is on its way to the Senate- and in Virginia, advocates are now urging the governor to sign the state’s pulse ox bill into law!
If we can save a child’s life, shouldn’t we? The American Heart Association is proud to work with partner organizations committed to the health of our nation’s littlest hearts – and you can help! Advocates like you are sending messages, attending lobby days and speaking out across the country. But our work is not done until every parent can take their baby home from the hospital knowing their heart is healthy. During Congenital Heart Defect Awareness Week (February 7th-14th), help us make some noise in support of mandatory pulse ox testing in every state by SHARING the following resources with your Facebook friends and Twitter followers, using the hashtag #CHDweek:
- Pulse Ox Valentines: On February 14th, show the love for pulse ox screenings that help identify broken hearts!
- Video: A 45 Second Test That Can Save a Life
- AHA CEO Nancy Brown’s Huffington Post article: Too Many Babies Are Born With Heart Defects; Simple Test Helps Diagnosis
- Fact Sheet: Precious Information- Pulse Ox Screening for CCHD
- AHA Congenital Heart Defects Information & Resources
We want to hear from you! Are you or a loved one a CHD survivor? Tell us your story in the comments below…