Universal newborn screening for congenital heart disease in US

The Secretary’s Advisory Committee on Heritable Disorders in Newborns and Children (SACHDNC) has recommended the inclusion of Critical Congenital Heart Disease (CCHD) as one of the conditions that should be included in all newborn screening programmes in the US.

 Congenital forms of heart disease accounts for around 3% of infant deaths in the US. Most babies born with CCHD are identified prenatally or soon after birth due to observed heart anomalies or symptoms, but some cases are not picked up until later. Many of the conditions that collectively make up CCHD can be treated.
The US Health and Human Services (HHS) Secretary Kathleen Sebelius has now decided to adopt the SACHDNC recommendation and include a pulse oximetry test for CCHD in newborn screening programmes, along with existing blood spot analysis and hearing tests. This approach was endorsed by the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) earlier this year.
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