Newborns to be screened for heart defects8th May 2014
Public Health England has announced that it plans to introduce a new screening test to improve the diagnosis rates of heart defects in newborn babies.
Around 3,500 babies are born with congenital heart defects each year. Sometimes they are not picked up until the baby has been at home for a few months and becomes seriously ill.
The new screening test for babies will be trialled in six hospital trusts. The test is called pulse oximetry; it measures the oxygen levels in the baby's blood, which can indicate congenital problems.
The test is a quick, easy and non-invasive procedure that can be carried out within the first 72 hours of the baby's life. It involves placing a clip on the baby's finger or toe and shining red light through the skin.
Dr Anne Mackie, director of programmes for the National Screening Committee (responsible for advising the government on such matters), said the pilot was an exciting prospect. "Pulse oximetry has the potential to detect more babies with congenital heart defects to save lives and make sure babies get the care they need before they become seriously ill."
Share this page
There are no comments for this article, be the first to comment!
Post your comment
Only registered users can comment. Fill in your e-mail address for quick registration.
Title: Newborns to be screened for heart defects
Author: Dan Boyle
Article Id: 25508
Date Added: 8th May 2014