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New York: It's Time for Pulse Oximetry

If we can help save a child’s life, shouldn’t we? With a simple pulse oximetry screening, it really is as simple as that.  It’s time for New York to make pulse oximetry a requirement for all babies.

It’s quick, painless and inexpensive, but more importantly, it can save lives. Before a newborn leaves the hospital, a routine pulse oximetry test – a small clip hooked to a finger or toe to measure the amount of oxygen in the blood – helps identify heart defects, potentially saving a life. Despite this, pulse ox is not required in New York, allowing thousands of parents to take their child home without knowing the condition of their heart.

We need pulse oximetry in New York. The Thomas’ from Syracuse know firsthand the impact pulse ox can have: it saved their son’s life. Jacob appeared to be a healthy newborn. Thankfully at 2 days old, before he left the hospital, Jacob had a pulse ox screening which caught a life-threatening heart defect. Jacob’s mom, Kelsey, will tell you her son is alive today because he received pulse ox screening. She won’t rest until all New York newborns have the same chance at life.

Congenital heart defects (CHD), are the most common birth defect in the U.S. and the leading killer of infants with birth defects. Wider use of pulse ox screening could help identify more than 90 percent of heart defects, making the argument for it pretty self-evident.

Many states have already passed laws requiring newborns to have pulse ox screenings prior to being discharged from the hospital. In New Jersey, just hours after their law took effect, a newborn’s life was saved.

It’s time for New York to do its part. Sign the petition to make pulse oximetry a requirement for all babies in New York, and then share it with your friends and families so they can help out too.

This petition was delivered to:
  • State Representative
    Sheldon Silver
  • New York Governor


    American Heart Association started this petition with a single signature, and now has 4,335 supporters. Start a petition today to change something you care about.