Hospitals now required to perform heart screenings on newborns

Test could prevent deadly heart defect

Wisconsin is taking steps to prevent a potentially deadly birth defect in newborns.

The state is now requiring hospitals to test all newborns for critical congenital heart disease. The disease is one of the most common birth defects in newborns across the country. The mandated test can pick-up any heart problems before a newborn even leaves the hospital.

A doctor from Mayo Clinic Health System says for a condition that can be deadly, many hospitals were sending newborns home without testing them for the disease.

“I have friends who’ve  told me they’ve had children at beautiful hospitals with fantastic fish tanks in the lobby’s in very beautiful places, and their children were pronounced perfect, and they went home and had a cardiac arrests, and found themselves in another hospital where they needed heart surgery. This test, this simple test will prevent stories like that,” said Dr. Dennis Costakos.

Critical congenital heart disease is different than normal heart disease. When the disease is critical, it means the new born will require surgery within a month of being born.