State bill introduced to test newborns for heart defects

State bill introduced to test newborns for heart defects
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POSTED: Tuesday, March 12, 2013 - 9:43am

UPDATED: Tuesday, March 12, 2013 - 10:37am

The American Heart Association says it is a simple test that can save lives, and a bill introduced at the State Capitol seeks to make sure the test is done on all Texas newborns. The test is called a pulse oximetry screening, and can help catch babies with birth defects of the heart before they leave the hospital.

A number of Texas hospitals and birthing centers already do the pulse oximetry screening as part of a newborn's regular testing and care, but the bill would have it performed on all newborns in the state.

Not a lot is known about the causes of most birth defects, but there are a number of ways that women can cut their risk. That includes avoiding alcohol and smoking and taking a multivitamin every day that contains the full recommended dose of folic acid.

 

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