Newborn Pulse Oximetry Screening Information for Healthcare Providers

In 2010, the Secretary's Advisory Committee on Heritable Disorders in Newborns and Children recommended Critical Congenital Heart Disease (CCHD) to the national Uniform Screening Panel. The Rhode Island Newborn Screening Advisory Committee has reviewed this recommendation and endorses the inclusion of CCHD in the Rhode Island Newborn Screening Panel. The American Heart Association, American Academy of Pediatrics, American College of Cardiology, and US Secretary of Health and Human Services Kathleen Sebelius also support screening newborns for CCHD. Pulse oximetry screening is used to detect CCHD in infants.

About Critical Congenital Heart Disease

Critical Congenital Heart Disease (CCHD) is the most common birth defect and may be detected during the prenatal and postnatal period. It is estimated that approximately 8 of every 1,000 live births will have CCHD. (more) CCHD requires surgery or catheter intervention during the first year of life.

Most infants with CCHD will have some degree of hypoxia, 70% of which will be picked up from pulse oximetry screening. A normal pulse oximetry screening does not rule out CCHD.

Failure to detect CCHD in newborns may lead to critical events such as cardiogenic shock or death. Survivors who present late are at greater risk for neurologic injury and subsequent developmental delays. Early detection of CCHD can potentially improve the prognosis and decrease the mortality and morbidity rate of affected infants.

What We Are Doing

Rhode Island birthing hospitals, and midwives performing home births, have adopted pulse oximetry screening as a standard of care.

What You Should Do

Follow up with families of newborns who fail the screening

You will be notified if your patient has failed the screening. Pass results are available in the baby's medical record and the parent/guardian will be given the pass results before discharge.

If you have any clinical questions please contact Dr. Ziegler. F eel free to contact Christelle Larose in the Rhode Island Newborn Screening Program with any additional questions.