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Pulse Ox Screening for Newborns: What is Rhode Island waiting for?


Illinois and Michigan have proudly joined the growing list of states in which all newborns will be screened for critical congenital heart defects (CCHD) using a pulse oximetry test. 27 states now mandate this lifesaving test – Rhode Island is NOT one of them. What is the Ocean State waiting for?

Congenital heart defects are the most common birth defect in the U.S. and the leading killer of infants with birth defects. The evidence speaks for itself – wider use of pulse oximetry (pulse ox) screening could help identify more than 90 percent of heart defects.

If we can help save a child’s life, shouldn’t we? With pulse ox screening, it really is as simple as that. It’s quick and painless, but more importantly, it can save lives.

Rhode Island has been working on a pilot program and we applaud the hospitals in our state for stepping up to the plate. Now it’s time to make pulse ox screening a requirement!


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