Your Healthy Family

Jul 8, 2013 9:15 AM by Marissa Torres

Test for newborn detects heart defects

It's something that's often missed during the routine exams before a newborn baby leaves the hospital, Congenital Heart Disease is the most common cause of death in the first year of life.

Now, all babies born in a California hospital have to be screened for it. The test is called the Pulse Oximetry Test. Doctors say it's simple, quick, and non-invasive - and it can detect something that is hidden.


"Just by putting this little band around their hand or foot or finger what it does is it basically measures the level of oxygen saturation in your blood."


In babies, it can easily detect when something is wrong. If oxygen levels are low, an Echocardiogram will show if there's a serous heart defect.

If so, many babies will undergo open heart surgery a few days later to fix the problem.

 

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