Mandatory Heart Screening for Newborn Babies in Florida
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Throughout the country, newborn babies are screened for congenital heart disease with a very easy pulse oxymetry test before they leave the nursery. In most states, the law mandates this before discharge from the hospital. However, Florida is not one of the states that mandates this, and the decision to screen or not lies with the hospital. This is an easy, low cost test that is recommended by the American Academy of Pediatrics and the American Heart Association. If a baby has congenital heart disease, and it is not picked up early, the baby is at high risk to become very sick or die at home. The test requires a pulse oxymetry probe to be placed on the right hand and foot. It takes less than 5 minutes to complete. If the infant "fails" the test, they would need further evaluation by an echocardiogram (ultrasound of the heart). We would like to mandate this test for all newborns being discharged from the hospital after birth. We would like Governor Rick Scott to help us get this legislation enacted to provide the children of Florida with the National standard of care.
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