Tag Archives: pulse oximetry
Eve’s Journey + A Heart Ball

Eve’s Journey + A Heart Ball

On the eve of Eve’s 4th birthday, honored to be sharing comments from the American Heart Association’s Heart & Stroke Gala on December 8, 2012….with profound thanks to the AHA for their commitment to early detection, research and advocacy for the youngest congenital heart patients.  Newborn CCHD screening is the organization’s top policy priority for 2013.  These remarks followed a video presentation of Eve\’s journey produced by the AHA. The event raised more than $900,000.

I want to thank everyone here tonight for your enthusiasm and generosity…and special thanks to AHA, and the rest of our family for being there through the journey.

4 years ago this week, our lives changed forever.  Eve was our Christmas gift – perfect on the outside, but broken inside.

There are people in this room tonight that we are forever indebted to – Dr. Lazaros Kochilas, whose compassion and craft kept Eve’s heart functioning long enough to get her to life saving surgeries – done in collaboration with Dr. Pedro del Nido at Children’s Boston.  Even more impressive – the willingness of these clinicians to look at options that would help avoid delayed diagnosis of CHD in newborns…to provide greater options for treatments and intervention.  Dr Kochilas, Dr. Jamie Lohr, and several other physician leaders at U of M Amplatz, Regions, Children’s and Mayo Clinic have donated hundreds of hours to this endeavor…and every family having a baby should be grateful for their efforts.

As everyone has mentioned tonight, we’ve come so far. We know that if Eve had been born 15 years earlier – when Jack was born, she would not likely have survived.  In that short time we have made so many advancements – a testament to advances in diagnosing and treating congenital heart defects.

But even with the amazing tools that are out there, so often due to lack of funding or resources, those tools are still not available to the doctors and nurses who need them.

We will continue to work with the American Heart Association …. to invest in CHD research and programs….to advance statutes and legislative requirements for newborn heart screening here and in states across the country.  Thankfully, our state continues to lead…just yesterday I was with the Commissioner of Health, who just a few weeks ago proudly authorized statutory language that adds Newborn Screening for CCHD to the state panel.  But we still need policy help to ensure there are resources available for hospitals to do this as a population health screening and collect important data on the results for each baby tested.

Pulse Oximetry evaluation is a key first step in helping us catch critical congenital heart disease early so it can be treated.

But there is still more to do and more funding needed to develop the science to nail down the causes of CHD, and provide treatment to these kids as they grow into adulthood, advancing the specialty of Adult Congenital Heart Cardiology.

My dad and my grandmother both had rhuematic fever as children….as a young woman about my age, my grandmother became Dr. Lillehei’s 3rd surgical patient on the heart lung machine in the 1950s – which gave her another 5 years of life.  My dad had his heart valve replacements at Mayo just 6 months after Eve’s OHS.  I only wish he and my mom were here tonight….

We’ve had the privilege of volunteering with AHA, long before our lives were so profoundly touched by heart disease. I was on the steering committee for this very event more than 13 years ago, when Jack was just Eve’s age.  That year, a teenager stood on this stage post-transplant, and talked to you about the importance of early detection and the advancements in treating CHD.  That boy, now an adult with someone else’s generous heart beating in his chest was just elected to the Minnesota legislature and will be sworn in as a state rep in January.  Congratulations Nick Zerwas.  What a story.  I expect to see you often this session in the halls of the legislature – and fully expect your signature on any legislation on CHD coming your way.

Finally, please remembers, that in just the time we’ve been together tonight, more than 50 children have been born in the U.S. with a congenital heart defect (40,000 this year). 10 percent of these babies will not see their first birthday.  We need research and advocacy to keep improve those numbers…

Your support tonight makes an impact.  Thanks to Eve, our house is one where we don’t sweat the little things, and we try to keep our eye on the ball.  We’re skipping the Barbies and castles at our house this year….so please join us in giving generously tonight.  Profound thanks to each of you…   ~ Annamarie Saarinen

The good with the bad.

The good with the bad.

Studies and peer-reviewed journal pieces have become standard reading over my career.  After Eve’s CHD and the founding of 1in100, even more so.  While in most cases, these are the types of publications that warrant credibility by name alone, it’s important to note that not everything published is direct science, has perfect methodology, or frankly, is to be taken as gospel.

It’s always exciting to see another published article on newborn screening for Critical Congenital Heart Defects.  The more info out there among clinicians, the faster the adoption rate.  That’s because 99 percent of the published pieces on this topic (at least since 2010) have been in support of routine screening of newborns for heart defects.

Two more editorial and commentary pieces hit the circuit this week in The Lancet: Kemper Screening of newborn babies Lancet 2012

and

A new milestone in the history of CHD Lancet 2012

There are some very important points addressed in each, most of which I fully agree and support.  Some of the comments – not so much.  To suggest the importance of better prenatal detection is of critical CHD is one thing.  To add that the purpose of such is solely to give families the choice of termination is entirely another.  The example used is Hypoplastic Left Heart Syndrome, which most would argue is now being treated with a high rate of success.  (See Gil Wernovsky, MD commentary: The Paradigm Shift Toward Surgical Intervention for Neonates With Hypoplastic Left Heart Syndrome.  To be sure, there are thousands of children in this country, and around the world, now surviving and thriving with HLHS.  To disregard this important clinical progress is a discredit to those patients, to those individuals and institutions providing interventional care, and to future families faced with this diagnosis.

With many scientific paper and editorials, we have to take the good with the bad, hoping that in most cases, the good far outweighs the bad.  Onward and upward.

 

HHS Adopts Recommendation to Screen Newborns for Heart Defects

HHS Adopts Recommendation to Screen Newborns for Heart Defects

Word came late this afternoon that HHS Secretary Sebelius has adopted the recommendation to add Congenital Cyanotic Heart Disease to the Recommended Uniform Screening Panel.  You can see the formal newborn screening for CCHD recommendation here.

This has been a long time coming.  Many good people and organizations were working toward the early detection of heart defects for many years before Eve Isley was born…but her life, and her spirit helped inspire many to move this down the pipeline toward a federal recommendation to screen every newborn in this country for heart defects using pulse oximetry.  It’s a good day for babies and families.

Many thanks and  gratitude to the countless individuals and organizations who supported this – in the early days, and just recently.

Many thanks to Secretary Sebelius and her staff for taking the initiative to dig deeper and get the answers required to ultimately back a population health issue that will save and improve lives.

Many thanks to the federal advisory committee (SACHDNC) – and it’s diligent, poised and passionate leadership – that voted to recommend this screening one year ago (Dr. Howell, may your commitment to newborns and children will be emulated by many).

Many thanks to the CDC, HRSA, NIH, AAP, AHA, ACC, March of Dimes, and countless physicians, advocates and public health professionals who stepped up last winter to work on a strategic framework for implementing this screening.

And many thanks to this community.  Through 1in100, we have known the grace and strength of families willing to drop everything and help each other through the unthinkable.  Continued hope and healing to all those touched by this wicked disease.

This was a battle worth winning.  The war continues.  We are ready.  #1in100

Consensus – AAP, AHA, ACC Endorse Screening Newborns for Heart Defects

Consensus – AAP, AHA, ACC Endorse Screening Newborns for Heart Defects

Published in the journal Pediatrics: Endorsed by the American Academy of Pediatrics, the American Heart Association and the American College of Cardiology, a federal advisory panel recommends nationwide screening for critical congenital heart disease using pulse oximetry, a probe placed on a hand and a foot that uses a light source and sensor to measure oxygen in the blood. Low oxygen levels signal the need for further testing to look for a heart-related problem.

View the report here: Newborn Screening for Heart Defects Using Pulse Oximetry Recommended

There are few words to describe the excitement.  Thinking back to Eve’s Impact, her diagnosis and surgeries – and on to that day in the fall of 2009, when the team in Minnesota agreed to pursue a pilot project, to discussing a federal nomination with the committee member, to providing comments to the federal advisory committee and participating in this federal workgroup that yielded this report..it’s been a whirlwind.  Now, all this news coverage in the past 24 hours.  It’s clear the time has come to use all the tools available to support the early detection of heart defects in newborns.

http://www.cbsnews.com/video/watch/?id=7377689n&tag=mg;earlyshow

http://articles.latimes.com/2011/aug/21/health/la-he-heart-screening-20110822

http://www.webmd.com/parenting/baby/news/20110819/blood-oxygen-test-finds-heart-defects-in-newborns

http://www.medscape.com/viewarticle/748382

http://www.baltimoresun.com/health/boostershots/la-he-heart-screening-20110822,0,1119997.story

http://seattletimes.nwsource.com/html/health/2015978538_webheart22.html

http://www.smartplanet.com/blog/rethinking-healthcare/could-a-new-screening-help-identify-heart-problems-for-newborns/6335

http://health.usnews.com/health-news/family-health/heart/articles/2011/08/22/steps-outlined-to-screen-all-newborns-for-heart-defects

http://blogs.wsj.com/health/2011/08/22/screening-newborns-for-congenital-heart-disease/?mod=WSJBlog

Dear Secretary Sebelius…

Dear Secretary Sebelius…

June 29, 2011

The Honorable Kathleen Sebelius
Secretary, U.S. Department of Health and Human Services
200 Independence Avenue, SW
Washington, DC 20201
RE: Recommendation for Newborn Screening for Critical Congenital Heart Disease

Secretary Sebelius,

Please accept this note of thanks again for your diligence – and that of your committees – in evaluating the recommendation of newborn screening for critical congenital heart disease.  While many do not have the capacity to lobby directly on issues such as this, I hope that is not misinterpreted as a lack of intense interest or advocacy.

If you aren’t yet aware, something in the neighborhood of 40 states now have grassroots online community pages focused on implementing routine pulse oximetry screening for newborns.  The recent movement of New Jersey, Maryland and other states toward this standard of care has started a significant state-by-state groundswell of support.  Many providers, payers and policy leaders have been hopeful that the federal guidance surrounding this important screening would happen in a timely fashion – giving states a leg up in their own implementation efforts.

As I write this, Minnesota (with a strong, aggressive pilot program) is starting to screen 15,000 babies this year.  New Jersey is poised to act on its legislative mandate – but without any clear guidance or standard protocol to assist.  We’ve shared our Minnesota protocol and educational materials, and will continue to do so with any healthcare institution, system or public health department that asks.  But the point is, there are hospitals and states eager to adopt this standard, prove its efficacy, and strip away the few remaining uncertainties that can only be answered through real-world implementation.

Right now, babies are getting discharged from hospitals every day with a hidden disease that could take their lives.  At best, the missed diagnosis of newborns with CCHD results in surgical compromise, neurological impairment, developmental delay, organ failure, and long-term feeding issues…all at huge costs to the healthcare system.

We all know pulse oximetry is considered the 5th vital sign. It’s routinely done on any adult with the slightest ailment or injury.  But somehow babies, who just ventured into this world and are breathing oxygen for the first time ever, should not have a pulse ox check before discharge?  Even if you take screening for CCHD out of the equation, this is a standard of care that is long overdue in the newborn nursery.

Physicians, hospitals and advocates clearly understand the importance of early detection of newborn diseases and disorders in saving lives and reducing healthcare cost burdens associated with late diagnosis.  It’s also a huge issue for our rural and underserved populations – who will continue to fall through the cracks if this simple point of care evaluation does not become a standard of care.  I have included a spreadsheet with just a small, but recent, survey of families impacted by CCHD (1in100_Informal Survey Responses_0111).  I am just one mother – and that fact that I personally know every family responding speaks volumes as to the need for this simple point of care screening.  In addition, I got this note just yesterday:

My baby went 4 and half weeks undiagnosed despite our complaints of poor eating, and breathing strangely! He saw 4 different pediatricians, after the two he saw in the hospital and no one    bothered with a pulse ox because I was a first time, very tired mother. He nearly died in our arms 3 days after his one-month check up! Inexcusable!!! What is the extra expense of babies like Gunner who then was so critical required a life flight and weeks of life support? Had the defect been caught initially, our entire family could have endured less trauma. Thank God we still have him and he is healthy, that is ONLY because of God’s grace. I know there are too many others who are not so lucky. ~Dana

I am confident that the work of the ICC (Interagency Coordinating Committee) will provide you an “action plan” that addresses your concerns and fills in the stated infrastructure gaps. In the 90 days allotted for this task, 1,000 additional babies will have died from Congenital Heart Disease.  The situation is grave.  The #1 cause of death in infancy in the U.S. is congenital anomalies, and the #1 cause of death from anomalies is congenital heart disease. Secretary, on behalf of my daughter Eve and 40,000 babies born each year with heart defects, I urge you to leverage your leadership and expertise in public health to advance this recommendation to the benefit of newborns throughout the United States.

With appreciation,

 

Annamarie Saarinen, 1in100

cc: Senator Amy Klobuchar
Congresswoman Betty McCollum

 

annamarie@1in100.org
Know More. Do More. Facebook.com/1in100
newborncoalition.org

http://cchdscreeningmap.com/

Early Detection of CCHD – Pulse Oximetry Advocacy

Early Detection of CCHD – Pulse Oximetry Advocacy

Pulse Oximetry Advocacy Temporary Toolkit:

Interactive screening map with current state legislation, legislation pending and hospitals screening for CCHD:

http://www.cchdscreeningmap.com/

I. INITIAL OUTREACH TARGETS

State Departments of Health

Newborn Screening and/or birth defect surveillance divisions

Hospital Medical Staff – contacts

Pediatric Cardiology
Neonatology
Pediatrics
Nursing
Newborn nurseries/Labor & Delivery

Hospital Administration

CEO
Chief Financial Officer
Medical Director
Nursing Executive Leadership
Patient Safety/Patient Care

Organizations

AAP – State Chapter leadership  – AAP Chapters

Hospital Associations by State

America Heart Association (state chapter)

Pediatric Heart Organizations /Sites (some with State Chapters)

Mended Little Hearts
It’s My Heart
Lasting Imprint
Congenital Heart Information Network
Bless Her Heart
Children’s Heart Foundation
James’ Project
CHD Speaks
BabyCenter Community: Babies and Children with Heart Problems
Helping Hands, Healing Hearts
CHD Babies
II. INITIAL TALKING POINTS

Website and address of every hospital in the US, by state: http://hospitalandmedicalcentercompare.com/by-state

Draft Hospital Outreach Letter

Click here for the Word document file.Letters sent in support of Newborn Screening for CCHD to the Department of Health and Human Services

Children’s National Medical Center, Washington DC

Darshak Sanghavi, M.D., UMass Memorial and University of Massachusetts Medical School Letter

Patient Safety Advocates Letter

 

III. FEDERAL RECOMMENDATION – NEWBORN SCREENING FOR CRITICAL CONGENITAL HEART DISEASE (using Pulse Oximetry)

On October 15, the Secretary’s Advisory Committee on Heritable Disorders in Newborns and Children sent a letter to Secretary Sebelius recommending all newborns be screened for Critical Congenital Heart Disease using pulse oximetry.  The Secretary responded on April 21, 2011, by asking the newly convened Interagency Coordinating Committee (ICC) to review the recommendation and specifically address implementation and infrastructure gaps associated with state by state adoption of this screening.  The ICC has been tasked with providing a full action report within 90 days (which would be before the third week of July, 2011 or sooner).
Secretary Sebelius
The interim period is still an excellent time to weigh in with Secretary Sebelius in support of early detection of heart defects.  Advocates may use their own experience, share a screening update from their state or advocate broadly for national screening.
To reach the Secretary of Health and Human Services, call 202-690-7000.  After hours, there is VM comment line: 202-205-5445 

Or email your personalized letter/note to the Secretary at: Kathleen.Sebelius@hhs.gov

You can copy and paste your letter right into the email.  Use the subject line:  “Support Newborn Screening for CCHD”

Congress
Advocates may also weigh in with the Congressional Members in support of saving lives through screening for CCHD.

Use this link to find your delegation, with emails and phone numbers:

http://www.contactingthecongress.org/

Sample Letters

Use the following sample letters for talking points – or customize however you’d like.  The more personal the better.

Sample letters – one for Secretary Sebelius: Family letter_HHS_NBS CCHD

and one for a Congressional member:  Family letter_Congress_NBS CCHD

Here’s the background briefing we’ve been using with policy leadership as well.

Outreach to State Elected Officials/Government

Directory of Federal, State, Local Officials and Government Agencies

SHARE

The online CHD community is powerful.  Utilize the following resources to mobilize, gather and share information:

Cora’s Hopes and Dreams

Children\’s National Medical Center Pulse Ox Program

Facebook Pages:

Pulse Oximetry

Pulse Ox Please

Check Their Hearts: Support Pulse Oximetry Screening for Heart Defects

Pulse Ox Pennsylvania

Pulse Ox Mississippi

CHD Babies

1in100

 

 

Up Next: Newborn Screening for Heart Defects

Up Next: Newborn Screening for Heart Defects

The Department of Health and Human Services just held a stakeholder call to update on the status of the recommendation to screening newborns for CCHD with pulse oximetry. Given the 5 recommendations related to this screening, the Secretary has found several items she would like to have further clarification on to move forward with the screening (see the original recommendation letter here). 

It was clearly stated that the Secretary recognizes the critical importance of CCHD, and has requested further efforts be undertaken immediately to work through the issues surrounding the pulse ox technology itself, follow up diagnostics, service infrastructure, and education. The Newborn Screening Saves Lives Act (of 2007) required the formation of a supplemental Interagency Coordinating Committee on Newborn and Child Screening issues. This committee includes directors of the CDD, HRSA, NIH and AHRQ. The committee has been IMMEDIATELY tasked with reviewing the original SACHDNC five recommendations, any gap areas, and the document produced from the Implementation Workgroup – their goal is to close the gaps. It is the committee’s first order of business…and they have 90 DAYS to provide a plan of action.

Here’s what I know. Without the outreach all of you did, sharing your support and personal stories, this important secondary advisory committee step wouldn’t be happening. This was going down the road of being an averted recommendation. Now it’s not.

So while we might not have the green light quite yet, the motor is running and the car is in gear. Please accept my profound gratitude for all you continue to do to support early diagnosis of heart defects.

I can be honest here, with all of you. These last 10 days have been hard. a hundred hours of time, anxiety, nausea, all of it. My first reaction to the 90 day delay was this: in 90 days, 1,000 more babies will die – and realistically, 200-300 of them will be contributed to by late diagnosis.

But I also realize there is solid intent on the part of the federal stakeholders to get this right. In that spirit,  let’s support this effort, continue the work already being done, and look forward to widespread implementation of newborn screening for CCHD.   #1in100

24 hours. Make an impact.

24 hours. Make an impact.

Surreal Day Part 1: Today marks Eve’s 2-year rebirthday.  April 13, 2009, Dr. del Nido and his team stopped our 4 month old baby’s heart for 6 hours, repaired it, and started it again.

Surreal Day Part 2: Following some weird arrhythmia this week, I canceled my DC trip and headed in for morning echocardiograms, EKGs and evaluations for a very crabby 2-year-old (needless to say, these exams don’t exactly get easier past infancy) at U of M Amplatz Children’s, (where Eve spent 4 months of her life in as a newborn). Results were awesome – echo and EKG looked great…just keeping an eye on the heart rate moving forward.

Surreal Day Part 3: Then it was off to Fairview Southdale Hospital in afternoon for a late day in-service training session on pulse oximetry screening for heart defects.  This was attended by administration and newborn nursery directors from 5 large hospitals.  The Minnesota rollout continues.  Dr. Kochilas and Dr. Thompson presented screening protocols and educational materials. We also talked about health IT and how much easier this will get to report results over time.

This is also the hospital where I gave birth to Eve (and our other children) and where she was first diagnosed with heart failure.  Surreal.

Surreal Day – Part 4: It is coming down the wire.  On October 15, the Secretary’s Advisory Committee on Heritable Disorders in Newborns and Children sent a letter to Secretary Sebelius recommending all newborns be screened for Critical Congenital Heart Disease using pulse oximetry.  She has 180 days to respond – which means until the end of this week.

Over the next 24 hours, it seems like a great idea to rally.  That means contacting the Secretary, and asking congressional members to reach out to the Secretary on the impending federal recommendation to screen all newborns for CCHD.  The next 24 hours are critical.  This is the path to saving lives.

Here’s what individuals, families and organizations can do, if possible.

1) Reach out to Secretary Sebelius at Health and Human Services to let her know of your support for screening for CCHD.

During business hours, call 202-690-7000.  After hours, there is VM comment line: 202-205-5445

Email your personalized letter/note to the Secretary at: Kathleen.Sebelius@hhs.gov

You can copy and paste your letter right into the email.  Use the subject line:  “Support Newborn Screening for CCHD”

2) Reach out to your members of Congress to share your support and ask them to weigh in directly with Secretary Sebelius.

Use this link – it’s quick and easy way to find your delegation, with emails and phone numbers:

http://www.contactingthecongress.org/

3) Email the appropriate version of these letters – one for Secretary Sebelius: Family letter_HHS_NBS CCHD

and one for a Congressional member:  Family letter_Congress_NBS CCHD

Or just use them for talking points if you are calling (or do both!)  You can customize however you’d like.  The more personal the better.

Here’s the background briefing we’ve been using with leadership as well.

4) Share with your contacts.  The online CHD community is powerful and beautiful thing.  When it mobilizes, it rocks.  If you need more, Cora’s mom has compiled one of the best online resources for pulse ox info at Cora’s Hopes and Dreams:

5) Let me know what you are hearing from your outreach at Facebook.com/1in100.  I suspect this is not on the radar of most elected officials – use it as an opportunity to make them aware of CHD and what can be done to save lives and improve outcomes through early diagnosis.

P.S. Since this is mission critical, I don’t have the time (or talent) to include the links to every online site and Facebook page that can help with this…but there are many.  Grateful for every single one.

 

One Step Closer…

One Step Closer…

…to routine pulse ox screening for every newborn. The federal advisory committee sent this letter to Secretary Sebelius on Tuesday.  Now the Implementation Workgroup has some serious work to do.  It’s been a wild ride, but improving early detection was 1in100′s first and most important priority from day one.  This has been an amazing milestone…

October 15, 2010

The Honorable Kathleen Sebelius
Secretary of Health and Human Services
200 Independence Avenue, S.W.
Washington, DC 20201

Dear Secretary Sebelius:

The Secretary’s Advisory Committee on Heritable Disorders in Newborns and Children (the Committee) is charged with making systematic evidence-based and peer-reviewed recommendations that include the heritable disorders that have the potential to affect public health significantly, for which all newborns should be screened. Thus far, nine conditions have been sent to the Committee for consideration of an evidence review and for consideration for addition to the Committee’s Recommended Uniform Screening Panel. In May 2010, Severe Combined Immunodeficiency (SCID) was added to the panel. During the May 13-14, 2010 Committee meeting, the Committee voted to not recommend the addition of Hemoglobin H to the Panel. At the Committee’s most recent meeting on September 17, 2010, the Committee reviewed a final draft report of the evidence review for Critical Congenital Cyanotic Heart Disease and voted to add this disorder to the Panel.

Congenital Heart Disease is an overarching term describing a spectrum of clinical outcomes derived from any number of defects that are present in the structure of the heart at birth. Specific defects may involve the interior walls of the heart, valves inside the heart or the arteries and veins that carry blood to the heart or out to the body. These varied congenital defects change the normal flow of blood through the heart, leading to a range of conditions and symptoms. Congenital Heart Disease affects about 7 to 9 of every 1000 live births in the United States and Europe and is the most common cause of death in the first year of life, with defects accounting for 3% of all infant deaths and more than 40% of all deaths due to congenital malformations. Critical Congenital Heart Disease is a group of defects that cause severe and life-threatening symptoms and require intervention within the first days or first year of life.

Current methods for detecting Congenital Heart Disease generally include prenatal ultrasound screening and careful and repeated clinical examinations, both in the nursery and as part of routine well-child care. Critical Congenital Heart Disease is often missed during the routine clinical exam that generally is scheduled prior to a newborn’s discharge and many cases of Critical Congenital Cyanotic Heart Disease are missed by discharge and post-discharge clinical exams. A large epidemiological population-based study showed that 78% of cases with hypoplastic left heart syndrome (HLHS) were discharged from hospital before diagnosis. HLHS is universally fatal without surgical intervention, sometimes within the first days of life, and the vast majority of deaths in this patient population occur within the first months of life. Fetal ultrasound screening programs improve detection of major congenital heart defects; however, prenatal diagnosis alone picks up less than half of all cases.

Newborn screening using pulse oximetry for detecting Critical Congenital Cyanotic Heart Disease was examined by the Committee’s evidence review workgroup. Pulse oximetry is a method to augment current approaches (clinical exam and prenatal ultrasound) for the detection of Critical Congenital Cyanotic Heart Disease. Newborn screening using pulse oximetry is a test that occurs at the bedside (in the nursery or otherwise) similar to newborn screening for congenital hearing impairment. Pulse oximetry is a non-invasive test that estimates the percentage of hemoglobin in blood that is saturated with oxygen. While some types of Critical Congenital Heart Disease may present with hypoxemia, they do so only some of the time and are therefore less likely to be detected by pulse oximetry screening. Neonates with abnormal pulse oximetry screening results need confirmatory testing for the cause of the cyanosis, and immediate intervention. Virtually every hospital, even small ones, frequently uses pulse oximetry as a standard of care in their newborn nurseries.

When developing its recommendations to the Secretary, the Committee considers the nature of the science itself underlying the potential additions of the technology and the heritable conditions to the Committee’s Recommended Uniform Screening Panel as well as the public health implications of implementation. Although there are recognizable evidence gaps (for example, standardization of screening protocol) there are compelling reasons for recommending screening newborns for Critical Congenital Cyanotic Heart Disease.

The Committee therefore recommends the addition of Critical Congenital Cyanotic Heart Disease to the Committee’s Recommended Uniform Screening Panel with the understanding that the following activities will also take place in a timely manner:

1. The National Institutes of Health shall fund research activities to determine the relationships among the screening technology, diagnostic processes, care provided, and the health outcomes of affected newborns with Critical Congenital Cyanotic Heart Disease as a result of prospective newborn screening;

2. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention shall fund surveillance activities to monitor the Critical Congenital Cyanotic Heart Disease link to infant mortality and other health outcomes;

3. The Health Resources and Services Administration shall guide the development of screening standards and infrastructure needed for the implementation of a public health approach to point of service screening for Critical Congenital Cyanotic Heart Disease; and

4. The Health Resources and Services Administration shall fund the development of, in collaboration with public health and health care professional organizations and families, appropriate education and training materials for families and public health and health care professionals relevant to the screening and treatment of Critical Congenital Cyanotic Heart Disease.

The Committee fully recognizes that the various Agencies within HHS determine and carry out their missions within their goals and the budgets which they have available.

Sincerely yours,

R. Rodney Howell, M.D.
Chairperson

http://www.hrsa.gov/heritabledisorderscommittee/correspondence/October15th2010letter.htm

CoverGirl

CoverGirl

Oh my.  Just got this today – we understand the newsletter also goes to pediatricians and cardiologist around the country.  So proud of our little Eve.  She has done some wonderful things in her short time here…thank you University of Minnesota Amplatz Children’s, Mayo Health System, Children’s Hospitals, Regions Hospital and Minnesota Department of Health for all you have done to make sure babies don’t go home with undiagnosed heart defects.  Rockstars.  All of you…

file:///Users/annamarie/Desktop/UMACH_CVHeartCenter_v5.pdf