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 Investigators may unlock mystery of how staph cells dodge the body's immune system
22.09.2017 | Cedars-Sinai Medical Center

nachricht Monitoring the heart's mitochondria to predict cardiac arrest?
21.09.2017 | Boston Children's Hospital

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: The pyrenoid is a carbon-fixing liquid droplet

Plants and algae use the enzyme Rubisco to fix carbon dioxide, removing it from the atmosphere and converting it into biomass. Algae have figured out a way to increase the efficiency of carbon fixation. They gather most of their Rubisco into a ball-shaped microcompartment called the pyrenoid, which they flood with a high local concentration of carbon dioxide. A team of scientists at Princeton University, the Carnegie Institution for Science, Stanford University and the Max Plank Institute of Biochemistry have unravelled the mysteries of how the pyrenoid is assembled. These insights can help to engineer crops that remove more carbon dioxide from the atmosphere while producing more food.

A warming planet

Im Focus: Highly precise wiring in the Cerebral Cortex

Our brains house extremely complex neuronal circuits, whose detailed structures are still largely unknown. This is especially true for the so-called cerebral cortex of mammals, where among other things vision, thoughts or spatial orientation are being computed. Here the rules by which nerve cells are connected to each other are only partly understood. A team of scientists around Moritz Helmstaedter at the Frankfiurt Max Planck Institute for Brain Research and Helene Schmidt (Humboldt University in Berlin) have now discovered a surprisingly precise nerve cell connectivity pattern in the part of the cerebral cortex that is responsible for orienting the individual animal or human in space.

The researchers report online in Nature (Schmidt et al., 2017. Axonal synapse sorting in medial entorhinal cortex, DOI: 10.1038/nature24005) that synapses in...

Im Focus: Tiny lasers from a gallery of whispers

New technique promises tunable laser devices

Whispering gallery mode (WGM) resonators are used to make tiny micro-lasers, sensors, switches, routers and other devices. These tiny structures rely on a...

Im Focus: Ultrafast snapshots of relaxing electrons in solids

Using ultrafast flashes of laser and x-ray radiation, scientists at the Max Planck Institute of Quantum Optics (Garching, Germany) took snapshots of the briefest electron motion inside a solid material to date. The electron motion lasted only 750 billionths of the billionth of a second before it fainted, setting a new record of human capability to capture ultrafast processes inside solids!

When x-rays shine onto solid materials or large molecules, an electron is pushed away from its original place near the nucleus of the atom, leaving a hole...

Im Focus: Quantum Sensors Decipher Magnetic Ordering in a New Semiconducting Material

For the first time, physicists have successfully imaged spiral magnetic ordering in a multiferroic material. These materials are considered highly promising candidates for future data storage media. The researchers were able to prove their findings using unique quantum sensors that were developed at Basel University and that can analyze electromagnetic fields on the nanometer scale. The results – obtained by scientists from the University of Basel’s Department of Physics, the Swiss Nanoscience Institute, the University of Montpellier and several laboratories from University Paris-Saclay – were recently published in the journal Nature.

Multiferroics are materials that simultaneously react to electric and magnetic fields. These two properties are rarely found together, and their combined...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

Event News

“Lasers in Composites Symposium” in Aachen – from Science to Application

19.09.2017 | Event News

I-ESA 2018 – Call for Papers

12.09.2017 | Event News

EMBO at Basel Life, a new conference on current and emerging life science research

06.09.2017 | Event News

 
Latest News

Rainbow colors reveal cell history: Uncovering β-cell heterogeneity

22.09.2017 | Life Sciences

Penn first in world to treat patient with new radiation technology

22.09.2017 | Medical Engineering

Calculating quietness

22.09.2017 | Physics and Astronomy

VideoLinks
B2B-VideoLinks
More VideoLinks >>>