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Policy Win for Babies!


Maryland hospitals will be saving more babies through the use of pulse oximetry screening for newborns because of regulations You’re the Cure helped put in place this session.  What, you say??!!  You don’t remember getting alerts asking you to send letters to your legislators about that! 

That’s because it was regulatory, not legislative, so we did not need to drive constituent requests to the lawmakers.  Instead of going through the legislative process, regulatory policy is crafted and approved by state agencies, generally with input from invested stakeholders, then written into state regulations. 

Final passage of regulations for Maryland’s Newborn Screening Program means that all newborns will be screened for congenital heart defects using pulse oximetry before they leave the birthing facility.  Testing the level of oxygen in a newborn’s blood through this simple screening can help detect serious heart problems that may otherwise go undetected.  This screening is non-invasive, inexpensive, and can save a child’s life.

Congenital heart defects (CHD) are the most common birth defect in the United States and the leading killer of infants with birth defects.  Considering that approximately 1 in every 125 newborns is born with a CHD, you can see this regulation will play an important role in saving the lives of babies.

Although a number of Maryland hospitals have been providing pulse oximetry voluntarily, the regulation will assure that no baby goes home with an undetected CHD.  That’s big news for Maryland babies!

Interested in more detail about regulatory process versus legislative process?  See HERE.

Do you have a story about a baby saved by pulse oximetry screening?  Share it with us HERE! 

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