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About the Congenital heart disease Screening program

Congenital heart disease (CHD) is the most common birth defect, affecting approximately 8 of every 1,000 babies born. Early detection of serious forms of the disease may improve health outcomes for babies born with this condition. Pulse oximetry has been recommended as a potential screening method to test for serious forms of CHD. 

The Congenital Heart Disease Screening Program (CHDSP) values the early diagnosis of congenital heart disease in newborns prior to the clinical deterioration of affected infants. The program promotes early detection through the use of pulse oximetry following 24 hours of age and prior to discharge from the newborn nursery. The program values the importance of the screening of all healthy newborns for congenital heart disease.


All babies with critical congenital heart disease are detected before leaving the newborn nursery.

Overview of CHDSP Screening Guidelines

This screening program adds pulse oximetry to routine testing performed on all infants that are not already thought to have CHD.  It is recommended that pulse oximetry screening be done in conjunction with other standard-of-care newborn screening that requires the baby be at least 24 hours of age, such as PKU screening.

All healthy babies that are not thought to have CHD should be screened. If the pulse oximetry reading  is greater than or equal to 95 percent the infant will pass screening. If the pulse oximetry reading is less than 95 percent the baby's doctor may order an echocardiogram (an ultrasound of the heart) to check for CHD.

Participating Hospitals
Holy Cross Hospital (Silver Spring, Maryland)
Shady Grove Adventist Hospital (Rockville, Maryland)
Mary Washington Hospital (Fredericksburg, Virginia)
St. Francis Health System (Oklahoma)
Adan Hospital (Kuwait)
Ahmadi Hospital (Kuwait)
Health Authority of Abu Dhabi

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