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Law Requires Newborns Be Screened For Heart Defects

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WESTWOOD (CBSLA.com) — A new law went into effect Monday that requires all newborns be screened for early detection of heart defects.

The pulse oximetry test can detect critical congenital heart disease that could otherwise go unnoticed at such an early stage of a child’s life.

The Ronald Reagan UCLA Medical Center has been running the screening on newborns for about a year.

“We look at oxygenation before and after the heart,” said nurse Carolina Korkounian.

Sensors are hooked up to the baby’s hands to measure the oxygenation level before the blood passes through the heart. Sensors are then hooked up to the infant’s foot to see the oxygenation level after the blood passed through the heart.

The normal test result in both cases is 95 to 100.

Recently, the numbers didn’t add up and a baby boy underwent a six-hour open heart procedure, reported CBS2’s Greg Mills.

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