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Iowa Senate approves life-saving screening for newborns

From Senator Amanda Ragan –

On March 25, the Senate passed Senate File 393, which requires that newborns in Iowa be screened for critical congenital heart defects (CCHDs). It is an easy step we can take to ensure the health of our children.

In the United States, approximately 7,200 babies are born every year with CCHDs, such as an intact septum or single ventricle. These babies usually require surgery or catheter intervention in the first year of life. If left untreated, CCHDs can be deadly.

Unfortunately, it’s impossible to know if newborns need this help just by looking at them. That is why it is recommended that babies be tested for some of the most common CCHDs through “pulse oximetry screening.” This test determines the amount of oxygen in the blood, with low levels of oxygen indicating a potential problem. The test is painless and takes only a few minutes.

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