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
"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: email@example.com
Helena Aaberg | idw
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