House approves bill that requires heart defect tests for newborn - Greenville, NC | News | Weather | Sports - WNCT.com

House approves bill that requires heart defect tests for newborns

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A new bill could change the way doctors test newborns for heart problems in our state.

The house unanimously approved House Bill 105, which would require all hospitals to do a heart defect screening on newborns before they are allowed to go home. It will now go before the Senate.

It's called a "Pulse Oximetry" test and it's nothing new. Doctors use the test all the time on people who are sick. The non-invasive test calculates the amount of oxygen in the blood.

9 out of every 1,000 babies are born with some kind of congenital heart disorder.

Many parents and doctors 9 on your side talked with say the earlier the screenings the better.

"There's maybe a thousand infants born every year that go home who are undiagnosed and it's  because they don't meet certain clinical findings. They don't look blue or lack oxygen, they don't have a heart murmur or anything," said Dr. Charlie Sang, ECU pediatric cardiologist.

If the bill is passed, parents can opt out of the screenings with a written objection, which would go in your child's medical records.  

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