California recently became the 9th state to pass legislation that will benefit thousands of newborn babies starting July 1, 2013. AB 1731 ensures that every California newborn delivered in a birthing facility will be given the pulse oximetry test to identify critical congenital heart defects (CCHD). Assemblyman Marty Block sponsored AB 1731, with the support of the American Heart Association and the March of Dimes
California You’re the Cure advocates voiced support for this life-saving bill every step of the way. From over 80 meetings with legislators at California Lobby Day and 12,000 emails to committee members to daily delivery of personal stories before a key committee vote and phone calls to the Governor to push for his signature, it was the grassroots who made this happen. Special thanks to the following survivors and moms for sharing their personal stories with lawmakers: Rayme Elliott, Hilary Gushwa, Kristen and Tyler Mateson, Melissa Murphy, Gigi Olivo, and Nicole Wells.
As the nation’s leading birth defect, congenital heart defects take a significant toll on families across the country. Catching a CCHD condition before the baby is discharged from the hospital increases his/her chances of a longer, fuller and higher quality of life. New research suggests wider use of pulse ox screening would help identify more than 90 percent of heart defects.
Pulse oximetry is a non-invasive test that checks blood oxygen levels and low levels indicate a potential life-threatening heart defect that might otherwise go undetected. AB 1731 adds pulse oximetry to the newborn screening panel.