Newborn Congenital Heart Disease Screening Recommended

Avatar for Cmmelissa
iVillage Member
Registered: 11-13-2008
Newborn Congenital Heart Disease Screening Recommended
Wed, 08-24-2011 - 11:15am

From the LA Times, doctors are prosing that all newborns have a simple test to look for the most common of heart defects before they are released from the hosptial:,0,5268306.story

A federal advisory panel proposes nationwide screening for critical congenital heart disease using pulse oximetry, a simple, pain-free test to measure oxygen in the blood.

Studies show about 1 in 6 babies who die from critical congenital heart disease are undiagnosed, and unrecognized cases are thought to cause about 200 infant deaths each year, he said. An estimated 2,000 babies a year could be diagnosed sooner if pulse oximetry were routinely used.

The downside of pulse oximetry screening is that, while clearly useful in detecting the disease, it can also lead to false positive results that are costly and stressful for a family. But several large studies in Europe, including a study of more than 20,000 newborns in Britain published this month in the medical journal Lancet, showed that pulse oximetry had a high rate of detection when added to standard exams and a false positive rate of about 1 in 3,000 cases, Martin said.

What do you think of having all newborns screened for congenital heart disease?

Community Leader
Registered: 01-29-2002

I support this test.