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Ceretto-sponsored bill to protect newborns with heart defects passes Assembly

by jmaloni

Press release

Fri, May 31st 2013 05:25 pm

Assemblyman John Ceretto helped pass legislation that protects newborns with heart defects. The legislation, which Ceretto sponsors, requires hospitals and other birthing facilities to perform pulse oximetry screening on newborns to screen for critical congenital heart defects. This will help doctors catch and treat heart defects in newborns as soon as possible.

"My Assembly colleagues and I took an important step toward protecting and enhancing the life of newborns with heart defects through pulse oximetry screening, a preventative measure that is harmless to the child," Ceretto said. "I am proud to have been a sponsor of this legislation and to have helped pass it. This simple test can save the lives of newborns and give parents peace of mind knowing that hospitals will be protecting their children by performing this simple test."

Pulse oximetry screening involves taping a small sensor to a newborn's foot while the sensor beams red light through the foot to measure how much oxygen is in the blood. The test takes approximately one minute and is both painless and harmless for the newborn.

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, congenital heart diseases are the leading cause of infant death from birth defects. Current screening methods only diagnose about half of the cases of congenital heart disease.

The legislation is currently waiting for a vote in the State Senate.

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