Small Hearts Big Challenges


Often viewed as a problem of adults, cardiovascular disease also exacts a terrible toll on the young. Congenital cardiovascular defects, also known as congenital heart defects (CHD), are the No. 1 birth defect in the U.S. and the No. 1 killer of infants with birth defects. CHD are about 60 times more prevalent than childhood cancers. Although the mortality rate for CHD has sharply declined since 1994, CHD is still a major killer. Nearly one in three infants who dies from a birth defect has a heart defect. But there is still real reason for hope. Due to research, most survive to adulthood, including many who formerly would have died.  We have a chance today to make sure that we are detecting CHD earlier in newborns.

With your help we ensure that a non-invasive screening test would help identify newborns who are at risk for heart defects and potentially saves their lives. The test, pulse oximetry, or pulse ox, consists of sensors placed on a baby’s hand and foot to check blood oxygen levels. If their levels are too low, additional tests are conducted to detect critical or possibly life-threatening heart defects that might otherwise be missed.

Do you know someone who was born with a congential heart defect that wants to be part of our campaign to ensure that Pulse Ox testing is required? Please reach out to [email protected] today

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