Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:

 

Swedish heart test saves lives of newborns with heart defects

10.10.2011
The US Secretary of Health recently supported a recommendation that all babies born in the US are to be screened for critical heart defects, before leaving hospital.

Behind this decision is a study from the Sahlgrenska Academy at the University of Gothenburg, and the West Götaland Region's maternity units in Sweden which shows that a simple test can save the lives of newborns with these heart defects. Other countries too are set to make the test mandatory.

One or two out of every thousand babies are born with duct-dependent congenital heart disease, a life-threatening condition where the normal connection between the heart and either the lungs or the aorta is missing. When the ductus arteriosus, a blood vessel that is open only in the foetus, gradually closes in the days after delivery, the flow of blood to the lungs or the aorta is cut off, resulting in circulatory collapse. Most of these heart defects can be corrected by one or more operations, but many of the children do not have an audible heart murmur and they are rarely detected by the standard pre-discharge medical examination.

Critical defect undiscovered
It is estimated that a third of all newborns with duct-dependent congenital heart disease therefore leave hospital without their critical defect being discovered, and there is a risk of this number rising as the average stay in hospital grows ever shorter.
Most cases were detected
Between 2004 and 2009, researchers at the Sahlgrenska Academy lead by professor Ingegerd Östman-Smith managed to develop a simple test where sensors on the baby's right hand and either foot are used to check the blood's oxygen saturation. This test, known as pulse oximetry screening, takes only a couple of minutes and can be carried out by a midwife. When tested on 40,000 newborns in West Götaland, 92% of cases of duct-dependent congenital heart disease were detected.
Major international impact
The study from the Sahlgrenska Academy has made a major impact internationally after being published in the highly respected British Medical Journal. All newborns in Beijing are already being screened, and Anne de-Wahl Granelli, who based her thesis on the method, has been invited to Washington, Singapore, Vietnam and Argentina to present the results during the past year.
Screening recommended in the US
Last week the US Secretary of Health decided to recommend that all babies born in the US should be screened using the Swedish protocol before leaving hospital. Several counties in Sweden have also introduced the test, although there is not yet any coordinated national recommendation.
Worldwide attention
"People around the world are now talking about `the Swedish study´, and I've been invited to Nanjing in China to help start up a screening programme there this autumn," says de-Wahl Granelli.

"I'm absolutely delighted that the research has had such an impact. My colleagues and everyone else who helped us with the clinical side of the study over a three-and-a-half-year period all deserve a share of the credit for the attention it has been given worldwide."

Pulse oximetry screening for newborns
The study at the Sahlgrenska Academy revealed that mortality among infants discharged with an undiagnosed critical heart defect was 18%, or around one in six children, but only 0.9% for those diagnosed before leaving hospital. During the period covered by the study, there were no deaths from undiagnosed heart defects of this type in the West Götaland region, but five deaths at home in the regions used for comparison.

For more information, please contact: Ingegerd Östman-Smith
Telephone: +46 (0)31 343 45 12, +46 (0)31 20 76 15, +46 (0)705 749501
Email: ingegerd.ostman-smith@pediat.gu.se
Anne de-Wahl Granelli
Telephone: +91 (0)9958 657696 (currently living in India, 3.5 hours ahead of CET)
Email: Anne.Granelli@vgregion.se

Helena Aaberg | idw
Further information:
http://www.gu.se

More articles from Health and Medicine:

nachricht On track to heal leukaemia
18.01.2017 | Universitätsspital Bern

nachricht Penn vet research identifies new target for taming Ebola
12.01.2017 | University of Pennsylvania

All articles from Health and Medicine >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

Die letzten 5 Focus-News des innovations-reports im Überblick:

Im Focus: How gut bacteria can make us ill

HZI researchers decipher infection mechanisms of Yersinia and immune responses of the host

Yersiniae cause severe intestinal infections. Studies using Yersinia pseudotuberculosis as a model organism aim to elucidate the infection mechanisms of these...

Im Focus: Interfacial Superconductivity: Magnetic and superconducting order revealed simultaneously

Researchers from the University of Hamburg in Germany, in collaboration with colleagues from the University of Aarhus in Denmark, have synthesized a new superconducting material by growing a few layers of an antiferromagnetic transition-metal chalcogenide on a bismuth-based topological insulator, both being non-superconducting materials.

While superconductivity and magnetism are generally believed to be mutually exclusive, surprisingly, in this new material, superconducting correlations...

Im Focus: Studying fundamental particles in materials

Laser-driving of semimetals allows creating novel quasiparticle states within condensed matter systems and switching between different states on ultrafast time scales

Studying properties of fundamental particles in condensed matter systems is a promising approach to quantum field theory. Quasiparticles offer the opportunity...

Im Focus: Designing Architecture with Solar Building Envelopes

Among the general public, solar thermal energy is currently associated with dark blue, rectangular collectors on building roofs. Technologies are needed for aesthetically high quality architecture which offer the architect more room for manoeuvre when it comes to low- and plus-energy buildings. With the “ArKol” project, researchers at Fraunhofer ISE together with partners are currently developing two façade collectors for solar thermal energy generation, which permit a high degree of design flexibility: a strip collector for opaque façade sections and a solar thermal blind for transparent sections. The current state of the two developments will be presented at the BAU 2017 trade fair.

As part of the “ArKol – development of architecturally highly integrated façade collectors with heat pipes” project, Fraunhofer ISE together with its partners...

Im Focus: How to inflate a hardened concrete shell with a weight of 80 t

At TU Wien, an alternative for resource intensive formwork for the construction of concrete domes was developed. It is now used in a test dome for the Austrian Federal Railways Infrastructure (ÖBB Infrastruktur).

Concrete shells are efficient structures, but not very resource efficient. The formwork for the construction of concrete domes alone requires a high amount of...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

Event News

12V, 48V, high-voltage – trends in E/E automotive architecture

10.01.2017 | Event News

2nd Conference on Non-Textual Information on 10 and 11 May 2017 in Hannover

09.01.2017 | Event News

Nothing will happen without batteries making it happen!

05.01.2017 | Event News

 
Latest News

A big nano boost for solar cells

18.01.2017 | Power and Electrical Engineering

Glass's off-kilter harmonies

18.01.2017 | Materials Sciences

Toward a 'smart' patch that automatically delivers insulin when needed

18.01.2017 | Life Sciences

VideoLinks
B2B-VideoLinks
More VideoLinks >>>