Screening to Test Babies For Congenital Heart Disease
Jun 25, 2013 at 4:50 PM CST
Jun 25, 2013
Parents of newborn babies have been waiting nine long months to see their bundle of joy. The last thing they want is to hear something is wrong with their baby. A screening being offered at Laredo medical center checks for critical congenital heart disease. "This is a non invasive test. We don't run a blood test. We don't poke the babies. We put an oxygen sensor on the hand and another on the toes." The test is administered after the baby is 24 hours old. Doctor Chhina says most parents are appreciative of having this test done. “I'd like to do it in all the babies, but it depends what we can do with the results once more studies are done with these babies." Congenital heart disease causes up to three percent of all infant deaths in the first year of life. The clinical education coordinator says these conditions are not obvious at birth which is why this screening is so important. "The screening is not yet required by the state and they are doing research on the feasibility, the cost to do it correctly. So we are very happy to be one of the only hospitals in the area participating in this study." Texas has two pieces of legislation have in the house, both introduced in January of this year. "The state of Texas is looking at getting this as a mandatory screening." If the screening is done before the baby is 24 hours old, the results will not be accurate.