Missouri to begin screening newborns for Critical Congenital Heart Disease

Beginning January 1, 2014, Missouri law requires every newborn infant born in the state to be screened for critical congenital heart disease (CCHD). Missouri will join approximately 33 other states that have added CCHD to their lists of disorders for which newborns are screened shortly after birth.

Congenital heart defects are the most common type of birth defect in the United States, affecting approximately 1% of births per year. CCHDs make up about 17-31% of all congenital heart defects and require either surgical or catheter intervention soon after birth. If left untreated, CCHDs can lead to death or serious developmental delays.

Chloe’s Law will help ensure that all newborns in Missouri receive this potentially life-saving screening. With an incidence of approximately 18 out of every 10,000 babies, it is estimated that there are around 140 babies born in the state each year with CCHD. Without early intervention, these babies could be sent home at risk of developing serious complications within the first few days or weeks of life.

CCHD screening is a non-invasive method using pulse oximetry to measure the amount of oxygen in the baby’s blood.

The American Academy of Pediatrics, American Heart Association, March of Dimes and other national organizations, including the federal government, have recommended CCHD screening be added to the routine screenings provided to all newborns.

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