Local Heart Association Grateful for New Texas Rules, Testing Newborns with Pulse Oximetry

Published 08/03 2014 02:47PM

Updated 08/03 2014 03:11PM

Image from public domain
Image from public domain
LUBBOCK, TX -- The American Heart Association said as of Thursday, August 7, every newborn in Texas will be screened for congenital heart disease using pulse oximetry. 

Pulse oximetry is the little gadget medical staffers put on a patient’s finger to measure his or her heartbeat and oxygen levels during a visit to the doctor.  The test can indicate heart defects in newborns that might otherwise take longer to detect. 

In an email news alert to supporters last week, the American Heart Association said, “Congratulations again to everyone who worked so hard to support our littlest Texans.”

The AHA also said, “Volunteers and staff have been closely involved in every stage of advancing this legislation and also partnered closely with parent advocates to ensure that this lifesaving test would be added to the state's newborn screening panel.”

The local chapter of the AHA wrote to supporters last week, saying, “We are grateful to each one of you, as we would not be able to make these advances without your mission drive.”

The AHA’s efforts included testimony before the Texas Health Services Council.  The state legislature approved a change in state law effective in September 2013.  The new rules take effect within the Texas newborn screening program. 

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