Duke Health Logo Can early detection help against Congenital Heart Disease (CHD) fatalities? Now, Duke University Medical Center scientists have put forward a new screening non-invasive technique known as pulse oximetry that seems to calculate oxygen levels in blood. If low oxygen levels surface then it would give reason for further tests.

Many of the identified babies will need to undergo a trial by a pediatric cardiologist or an echocardiogram or ultrasound of the heart before they are allowed to go home. Since not all medical centers are equipped with these facilities, they may have to be shifted to other hospitals.

One of the report’s authors, Alex Kemper, MD, associate professor of Pediatrics at Duke University Medical Center specified “Screening for low-blood oxygen saturation can be an effective way to identify otherwise well-appearing babies who have undetected critical CHD. One of the biggest challenges in implementing screening will be the follow-up after a positive screen.”

Kemper adds that it is essential to prohibit false positive screening outcomes. This method may reveal all cases but will seemingly have less than 1 percent false of positive rate too. Some important information on the best ways to screen inclusive of timing and positive screen standards is yet to be unfolded. Kemper believes that this methodology is apparently a life saving technique.

As more data on safe and efficient measures to screen infants will be unmasked, it may eventually spread to other states after New Jersey which plans to initiate it. Additionally, the Secretary of Health and Human Services is on the verge of unveiling a plan to assist states in the diagnosis and treatment of babies with CHD.

Pulse oximetry is apparently a non-penetrative method and it is deemed to be used on the right hand and a foot of a newborn, to provide 2 different measures of oxygen levels in blood. It apparently utilizes light at varied wavelengths that is supposedly painless as it passes through the patient’s skin.

A detector is then used to gauge the amount of oxygen-bound blood. If the levels of oxygen are low, then there could be chances of CHD, an infection or other major health issues. A baby should be 24 hours old before any sort of screening or test, as early life alterations in the circulatory system may lead to a false positive screening.

The report is published in the journal Pediatrics.