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Senate Approves CCHD Screening Bill

 

The Nebraska Senate has approved LB 225 which would ensure newborns are screened for critical congenital heart defects (CCHD) before leaving the hospital.  The bill now goes to Governor Heineman for signature. CCHD is a life threatening condition that requires surgery or catheter intervention within the first year of life.  Failure to detect CCHD and late detection of CCHD may lead to serious morbidity or death.  A simple screening test using pulse oximetry is effective at determining life-threatening heart defects.  New research suggests that when all infants are screened using pulse oximetry in conjunction with the routine practices, CCHD can be detected in over 90% of newborns with CCHD.  Pulse oximetry screening is a low-cost, non-invasive and painless bedside diagnostic test that can be completed by a technician in as little as 45 seconds.  Many advocates across the state of Nebraska came forward as champion advocates for this issue - testifying before committees, contacting their state senators and writing letters to the editor in support of the bill.  When advocates come together around an issue such as this, great things can be accomplished! 

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