Parents of newborns often have questions about screenings done on their babies. Click below for answers to some of the most common questions about pulse oximetry screening for Critical Congenital Heart Disease. If you have questions that are not answered here, or if you would like more information about this screen, please ask your medical care provider or contact the Utah CCHD Screening Project.
No. Pulse oximetry is most useful in detecting heart defects with which a baby can look entirely well a day after birth and become very ill within the next few days. The heart defects that are most likely to cause serious congenital heart disease and are detectable by pulse oximetry are:
- Coarctation of the Aorta
- Double Outlet Right Ventricle
- Ebstein’s Anomaly
- Interrupted Aortic Arch
- Hypoplastic Left Heart Disease
- Pulmonary Atresia
- Tetrology of Fallot
- Total Anomalous Pulmonary Venous Return (TAPVR)
- Transposition of the Great Arteries
- Tricuspid Atresia and Truncus Arteriousus
- Single Ventricle Physiology
No. Most babies with CCHD will be diagnosed by prenatal ultrasound or by physical exam after birth. Pulse oximetry serves as one additional method of catching the 1 or 2% of babies with critical congenital heart disease that aren’t detected by prenatal ultrasound or newborn physical examination.
Pulse oximetry screening for CCHD is currently being performed in some Utah hospitals. As of October 1, 2014 pulse oximetry screening for CCHD will be required for all Utah newborns.
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