In an effort to reduce infant mortality across the state, and ensure the diagnosis and treatment of critical congenital heart defects, the Ohio House of Representatives passed Senate Bill 4, which requires hospitals and birthing centers to perform screenings pertaining to critical congenital heart defects in newborns.
A critical congenital heart defects (CCHDs) screening uses a physiologic tests, like pulse oximetry, to identify if a newborn has a structural heart defect. These particular newborns are at risk of suffering serious complications after birth that could involve surgery, and some cases, loss of life. According to the CDC, 300 infants with unidentified CCHDs are released from newborn facilities each year.
“S.B. 4 is a very important piece of legislation to help ensure infants have this vital screening conducted to assure a healthy future,” Rep. Lynn Wachtmann (R, Napoleon), who serves as Chair of the Health and Aging committee, said.
The bill also specifies that the timing of the procedure must be conducted prior to the newborn being discharged unless the newborn is transferred. Parents are able to object to the screening if it conflicts with their religious practices and beliefs.
S.B. 4 passed with bipartisan support and will now move to the Senate for concurrence.