Newborn Screening for Critical Congenital Heart Defects
Is my baby screened for critical congenital heart defects (CCHD)?
A Hawaii state law (House Bill 467, H.D.1, S.D.1) was passed in 2015 mandating that each baby born in a hospital be screened for critical congenital heart defects (CCHD). Typically, these types of heart defects lead to low levels of oxygen in a baby and may be identified using pulse oximetry screening at least 24 hours after birth. Pulse oximetry is a simple, quick and painless way to measure how much oxygen a baby has in his or her blood. Babies who have low oxygen levels may have a CCHD and may need further testing.
CCHD describes a group of heart defects that can cause life-threatening problems which need to be treated within the first days or first year of life. Here are a few examples of CCHDs.
- Hypoplastic left heart syndrome
- Pulmonary atresia
- Tetralogy of Fallot
- Total anomalous pulmonary venous return
- Transposition of the great arteries
- Tricuspid atresia
- Truncus arteriosus