Based on some studies, number of infant deaths from critical heart defects decreased by 1/3 in last 8 years in 8 states of US. That is great outcome of study and to be more clear, lot more than initially expected.
How this became possible?
It happened because all of us know, 'prevention is better than cure'. In these states, it is mandatory to screen new born baby for any concerns with baby's pulse oximetry. It is possible to save baby 90% times more if diagnosed any heart problems during new born screening.
This is how it works. During mandatory screening, Pulse oximetry being placed on the hand and foot of a newborn baby. If there is reading between 95 to 100, that is normal for healthy baby. If it is found that blood oxygen saturation level is below 95 then it requires further testing to check for any possible heart problems.
Based on estimation, almost 40000 babies born in united states with congenital heart defects. Many of them require surgery within a year. Before mandatory screening, all these babies were leaving hospital without heart defects diagnosed.
As of 2017, all states in US except Idaho and Kansas mandate newborn screening for possible heart problems. Even though, there was no mandate in these two states, most hospitals do that anyway.
This mandatory screening gave very positive results but there are still challenges and work is in progress to improve outcomes.
What are the challenges?
- Reading differ between hand and foot and because of that, it is possible that some babies go home without correct diagnosis.
- Pulse oximetry isn't perfect. It may not give correct results. Again baby will not be diagnosed.
- Pulse oximetry needs technology improvements to get more accurate data. There are some private companies working to refine their technology and algorithm to get more accurate data.
As you can clearly see, most challenging part is what if baby got missed during screening because any of the challenge? What if baby having heart complications and that is not during birth time but eventually it happened? Baby can not speak about health conditions for themselves and as parent we want to try whatever we can for safely of children.
- Portable Pulse Oximeter can help in this situation. You can monitor your baby using this everyday easily or if you feel something is not right just like thermometer to monitor temperature.
- Pulse Oximeter at home can help to figure out if you need to visit pediatrics or not. If you find reading less than 90, you know that your child need to be seen to doctor immediately.
- It can help uncover any hidden heart related problems in infant if they got missed during new born screening. It is also helpful for any other problem or concern that is not there during birth of newborn.
- It can help decrease risk of Sudden Infant Death Syndrom (SIDS). Premature babies are at more risk of SIDS. They also need more oxygen and Pulse Oximeter at home can easily monitor this.
- Pulse Oximeter does not help only babies bu to adults as well for all reasons as baby. It is same machine anyone can use at home.It should be at home where you have all other health essential items.
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