Small hearts can conceal big challenges, especially when it comes to congenital heart defects (CHD), the No.1 killer of infants with birth defects. Fortunately, Louisiana legislators recently passed a bill that ensures all newborns receive a pulse oximetry screening to detect heart defects being leaving the hospital. Now, it’s time for Governor Jindal to sign the bill into law.
Tell Governor Jindal to help small hearts fight big challenges!
By adding pulse oximetry to the current screening methods of newborns, we can identify some infants with a CHD before they show signs and potentially save their lives. Pulse oximentry is:
• a simple, non-invasive and inexpensive screening that can detect heart defects before a newborn goes home;
• performed by placing sensors on a baby's hand and foot to check for low blood oxygen levels that could indicate a potential congenital heart defect; and
• an effective way to save lives, using the latest science.
Right now, many – but not all – Louisiana hospitals and birthing centers use this simple screening method. Don’t all Louisiana newborns deserve to be screened for heart defects?
Let’s give our children a healthy start in life by supporting a simple, non-invasive screening for all newborns. Ask Governor Jindal for his support today!
The bill has passed unanimously in both chambers, with 53 legislators signing on as co-authors, and is ready for you to sign. This legislation requires birthing facilities to perform pulse oximetric screening for certain heart defects on each newborn in the care of those facilities.
I stand with the American Heart Association in support of screening newborns for CCHD with pulse oximetry. Pulse ox is a non-invasive, inexpensive test conducted on newborns before they leave the hospital, in conjunction with current CHD screening methods. It greatly improves the effectiveness and likelihood of detecting critical or possibly life-threatening heart defects that might otherwise go undetected. In fact, new research suggests wider use of pulse ox screening could help identify more than 90 percent of heart defects.
Please sign House Bill 322 into law to offer our children a healthier start in life. Thank you for your time.