Every 15 Minutes: Facts on Congenital Heart Disease
Congenital heart disease (CHD) is the number 1 birth defect. Every 15 minutes, a baby is born with CHD. If a critical CHD is not detected soon after birth, an infant can die.
Thanks to improvements in diagnostic imaging and care, many congenital heart defects can be detected before a baby is born. But not always. The Children’s National Health System Cardiology team created a Congenital Heart Disease Screening Program, promoting the use of pulse oximetry to detect critical CHDs soon after birth. Pulse ox is a minimally invasive and painless test performed 24 hours after birth that measures the percentage of oxygen in the blood. Our hope is that all states will make this simple, inexpensive test part of routine newborn screening.