Governor Pat McCrory signed into law lifesaving legislation, Senate Bill 98, on May 8th requiring screening for Critical Congenital Heart Disease (CCHD) via pulse oximetry. North Carolina YTC volunteers and CHD parents, Eric Sanchez (and daughter, Grace), Stephanie and Joel Linn, and Crystal Darak were in attendance.
Congenital heart defects account for 24% of infant deaths due to birth defects and more than 1,400 babies with CCHD do not live to celebrate their first birthday. In the United States, approximately 4,800 babies born every year have one of seven critical congenital heart defects. Infants with one of these CCHDs are at significant risk for death or disability if not diagnosed and treated soon after birth.
Studies show that pulse oximetry screening, in conjunction with current screening methods, greatly improves the likelihood of detecting life-threatening heart defects in infants.
North Carolina is one of only twelve states to enact pulse oximetry bills to ensure babies born with heart defects are screened and receive appropriate care.
This is an exciting day for North Carolina as families will be impacted for many years to come families who won't even know their baby's life was saved because this law was put into place. The passage of SB 98 means that every single newborn in North Carolina will be screened for congenital heart defects (CHD) before they leave the birthing facility. Standard pulse oximetry screening will help identify the 8 out of every 1000 babies born with CHD, so no baby goes home from the hospital with an undetected CHD. That is worthy of celebration!
You're the Cure advocates were key in moving this legislation forward to completion, and we thank YOU for your role. It's a very big deal for some very little hearts!