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 Why might reading make myopic?
18.07.2018 | Universitätsklinikum Tübingen

nachricht Unique brain 'fingerprint' can predict drug effectiveness
11.07.2018 | McGill University

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: First evidence on the source of extragalactic particles

For the first time ever, scientists have determined the cosmic origin of highest-energy neutrinos. A research group led by IceCube scientist Elisa Resconi, spokesperson of the Collaborative Research Center SFB1258 at the Technical University of Munich (TUM), provides an important piece of evidence that the particles detected by the IceCube neutrino telescope at the South Pole originate from a galaxy four billion light-years away from Earth.

To rule out other origins with certainty, the team led by neutrino physicist Elisa Resconi from the Technical University of Munich and multi-wavelength...

Im Focus: Magnetic vortices: Two independent magnetic skyrmion phases discovered in a single material

For the first time a team of researchers have discovered two different phases of magnetic skyrmions in a single material. Physicists of the Technical Universities of Munich and Dresden and the University of Cologne can now better study and understand the properties of these magnetic structures, which are important for both basic research and applications.

Whirlpools are an everyday experience in a bath tub: When the water is drained a circular vortex is formed. Typically, such whirls are rather stable. Similar...

Im Focus: Breaking the bond: To take part or not?

Physicists working with Roland Wester at the University of Innsbruck have investigated if and how chemical reactions can be influenced by targeted vibrational excitation of the reactants. They were able to demonstrate that excitation with a laser beam does not affect the efficiency of a chemical exchange reaction and that the excited molecular group acts only as a spectator in the reaction.

A frequently used reaction in organic chemistry is nucleophilic substitution. It plays, for example, an important role in in the synthesis of new chemical...

Im Focus: New 2D Spectroscopy Methods

Optical spectroscopy allows investigating the energy structure and dynamic properties of complex quantum systems. Researchers from the University of Würzburg present two new approaches of coherent two-dimensional spectroscopy.

"Put an excitation into the system and observe how it evolves." According to physicist Professor Tobias Brixner, this is the credo of optical spectroscopy....

Im Focus: Chemical reactions in the light of ultrashort X-ray pulses from free-electron lasers

Ultra-short, high-intensity X-ray flashes open the door to the foundations of chemical reactions. Free-electron lasers generate these kinds of pulses, but there is a catch: the pulses vary in duration and energy. An international research team has now presented a solution: Using a ring of 16 detectors and a circularly polarized laser beam, they can determine both factors with attosecond accuracy.

Free-electron lasers (FELs) generate extremely short and intense X-ray flashes. Researchers can use these flashes to resolve structures with diameters on the...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

VideoLinks
Industry & Economy
Event News

Leading experts in Diabetes, Metabolism and Biomedical Engineering discuss Precision Medicine

13.07.2018 | Event News

Conference on Laser Polishing – LaP: Fine Tuning for Surfaces

12.07.2018 | Event News

11th European Wood-based Panel Symposium 2018: Meeting point for the wood-based materials industry

03.07.2018 | Event News

 
Latest News

NYSCF researchers develop novel bioengineering technique for personalized bone grafts

18.07.2018 | Life Sciences

Machine-learning predicted a superhard and high-energy-density tungsten nitride

18.07.2018 | Materials Sciences

Why might reading make myopic?

18.07.2018 | Health and Medicine

VideoLinks
Science & Research
Overview of more VideoLinks >>>