Every 15 minutes a baby is born with a congenital heart defect and much attention has been given to the early detection of this serious condition in newborns. Congenital Heart Defects (CHD) are the most common birth defect with, on average, 1 in 100 children being born with some sort of heart defect. In 2011, the Secretary's Advisory Committee on Heritable Disorders in Newborns and Children, as well as the American Academy of Pediatrics, The American College of Cardiology, and the American Heart Association have come together to recommend the use of pulse oximetry to detect critical congenital heart disease during a newborn screening.
While many states are at various points of legislative positions, most hospitals and nurseries are evaluating the implementation of pulse oximetry screening as part of their newborn assessment plan.
My son Dylan was not screened at birth using this easy and non-invasive method to detect his heart defect, even though he had many signs of heart failure right after birth and while he was still in the hospital. His situation became life or death after we were released from the hospital, when we had to rush him back to the emergency department because his heart was in complete failure. We had no idea at the time he had any sort of heart defect. By the time he got back to the hospital at 4 days old, he was also in respiratory and multiple organ failure. Dylan ultimately survived the emergent situation after getting air lifted to a larger hospital and spending an extra week in the cardiac intensive care, recovering from the trauma his little body endured before he could safely have his heart surgery. Unfortunately, not all children are so lucky. I am asking WI to save the lives of children and follow what some states are already doing, by making it a legally mandatory requirement for all birthing facilities to do pulse oximetry screenings on newborns. A simple and inexpensive pulse oximetry screening would have detected Dylan's heart defect before his life was at risk, and will help save lives of children in the future.
PLEASE help WI save innocent lives by passing this into law!