NY Legislature to require newborn heart screenings

June 12, 2013

ALBANY, N.Y. (AP) - New York's Legislature has agreed to require newborns to be tested for a congenital heart defect under a new, quick screening process.

The measure would require all birthing facilities to administer the test called pulse oximetry screening.

The new procedure provides early detection of heart defects that could be addressed quickly by surgery, potentially saving babies' lives.

The process involves taping a small sensor to a newborn's foot as light is beamed at the foot to measure the amount of oxygen in the blood. The quick tests are more effective than more common screenings.

The Senate approved the measure Wednesday. The Assembly has already approved it. The measure now goes to Gov. Andrew Cuomo.

Thirteen states require the screening.

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