Wednesday, August 14, 2013
South Carolina Gov. Nikki Haley signed legislation on June 13 requiring all newborns in South Carolina to be screened for critical congenital heart defects (CCHD) using pulse oximetry. Sponsors of the bill included Sen. Paul Campbell.
In conjunction with current screening methods, pulse oximetry screening greatly improves the likelihood of detecting life-threatening heart defects in infants.
South Carolina joins dozens of states that have adopted similar legislation to ensure babies born with heart defects are screened and receive appropriate care.
Pulse Oximetry screening is a non-invasive, simple test that measures the level of oxygen saturation in the blood and indicates how well the heart is functioning.
Congenital heart defects account for 24 percent of infant deaths due to birth defects. More than 1,400 babies with CCHD do not live to celebrate their first birthday.
In the United States, approximately 4,800 babies born every year have one of seven critical congenital heart defects. Infants with one of these CCHDs are at significant risk for death or disability if not diagnosed and treated soon after birth.
Parents of children with congenital heart defects along with the American Heart Association and their partners advocated for the pulse oximetry bill.