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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.

Letter to
State Representative Sheldon Silver
New York Governor
Congenital cardiovascular defects, also known as congenital heart defects (CHD) take a significant financial and emotional toll on families in the state of New York and across the country. But pulse oximetry screening, or pulse ox, can help identify newborns at risk for heart defects and potentially save their lives.

Pulse ox is a non-invasive, inexpensive test conducted on newborns before they leave the hospital. It greatly improves the effectiveness and likelihood of detecting critical or possibly life-threatening heart defects that might otherwise go undetected. The evidence is clear. Wider use of pulse ox screening could help identify more than 90 percent of heart defects.

Simply put, pulse ox screening could be a lifesaver for a baby. And every day that we wait to pass the pulse ox bill is another day that a baby could potentially go home from the hospital with an undetected critical congenital heart defect.

I am excited that the Assembly and Senate have already passed this legislation (A2316 and S270). But we are not done yet. Time is critical for a newborn with a heart defect. I strongly urge the pulse ox bill be delivered and signed into law immediately. No more delays!

American Heart Association started this petition with a single signature, and now has 4,338 supporters. Start a petition today to change something you care about.