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Pulse Oximetry Screening for Newborns a Reality in North Carolina
Date:5/17/2013

Raleigh, NC (PRWEB) May 17, 2013

On May 8, 2013, Governor McCrory signed Senate Bill 98 into law which expands the newborn screening program to include screening for congenital heart disease utilizing pulse oximetry.

Pulse oximetry is a simple, inexpensive, non-invasive test that monitors the amount of oxygen in blood. It’s so simple and effective many institutions refer to it as “the 5th vital sign.”

For a newborn, low levels of oxygen in the blood can be a sign of a congenital heart defect (CHD). Without screening, many newborns are discharged from the hospital without diagnosis because the signs might not yet be evident. CHDs account for nearly 30% of infant deaths due to birth defects, according to the Center for Disease Control.

In New Jersey, the day after similar pulse oximetry legislation was signed, a baby’s life was saved; in Tennessee, it was within a few days, according to the American Heart Association (AHA).

Eric Sanchez, Vice President of the Law Offices of James Scott Farrin, and his eight-year-old daughter, Grace, know firsthand about pulse oximetry. Grace was discharged from the hospital without being diagnosed with a CHD, only to be diagnosed six weeks later which ultimately resulted in open-heart surgery at eighteen weeks.

“When Grace was diagnosed, after the initial shock, I vowed that something good would come of this,” Sanchez said. “When I saw all of the recommendations from the federal and state health departments, as well as nearly every professional organization, I knew our legislators needed to act.”

As a result of Grace, the Law Offices of James Scott Farrin has been
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