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Hey ladies, I'm popping in from the April DDC. I meant to do this earlier, but my LO has been in the NICU since birth so things have been insane.
I'm poking everyone to remind them to get the pulse oximetry screening done on your newborns. Most hospitals do NOT do this test as a mandatory part of the newborn screening yet.
Its really simple - they wrap a small bandage around your babies foot, and it has a sensor in it. It stays on for about a minute, and shines a red light through the bottom of the foot. This enables it to know how much oxygen your baby has in its blood. This test is inexpensive, non-invasive, and super super easy.
It is also a great way to catch CHDs and lung issues right off the bat. Congenital heart defects are the most common birth defects in babies and yet we don't automatically test for it in many cases. It doesn't make sense. That's why its up to you to make sure your baby gets checked.
If you've already had your baby and don't know if the pulse ox test got done - just write yourself a note, and ask the pediatrician next time you take LO in to do the test. If the pediatrician tries to give you any flack, stand up for yourself and for your baby. There is no reason NOT to get this test done.
The test is not perfect, of course, and will not catch everything - but it will catch a LOT.
I speak as a mommy of a 4 year old with Idiopathic Pulmonary Arterial Hypertension, VSD, ASD, PDA, Bicuspid Aortic Valve, X-Linked Periventricular Heterotopia, Malformed lung, and Bronchiostenosis. They did NOT do the pulse ox on her. She roomed with me and everything. Then my mom mentioned to a nurse that her color was off. At 7:30 that night, the pediatrician had a look at her, and discovered she had a hole in her heart. The pediatrician also told me that the hole was so big that she almost missed it - because when they're huge, the heart can sound normal - oddly enough. That means she could have been sent home sick. I honestly believe she would not be here today if the pedi hadn't caught that sound. But she could have been receiving oxygen and treatments HOURS earlier if the pulse ox had been done!
I also speak as the mommy of a 22 day old with an ASD, X-Linked Periventricular Heterotopia, Severe feeding issues, and Hypoventilation. Her pulse ox was 77. A definite fail. She's still in the NICU.
PS: Please do NOT tell yourself that you don't need to get the test done because your baby looks fine, or because there's no history of heart problems in your family. My 4 year olds IPAH is what's called an 'invisible illness'. She does NOT look sick, even though she is very much so.
CHDs can occur in something like 1 out of every 100 births. We test for something like PKU automatically - PKU occurs in roughly 1 out of every 35,000 births. So why wouldn't you get the test to help screen for CHDs done, considering your chances of having a baby with it are so much higher??