An additional free Newborn Screening has been added at Conemaugh Memorial Medical Center to help detect Critical Congenital Heart Disease (CCHD) in infants.
Screening for CCHD began at Memorial earlier this month at no cost to parents. The test is a pulse oximetry screening, which is a simple, non-invasive test to determine the amount of oxygen in the blood and pulse rate. “A small sensor is placed on the baby’s hand or foot and a beam of red light is used to measure the baby’s oxygen, “says Dr. John Chan, Conemaugh Physician Group Neonatologist with Conemaugh Memorial’s Regional Intensive Care Nursery. “It is quick and painless and provides very important information.”
In the United States about one in every 100 babies born has a congenital heart defect; about 25% are CCHD which typically require surgery to fix.
“We are proud to offer another Newborn Screening to our patients,” says Dr. Adib Khouzami, perinatologist with Conemaugh Physician Group – OB/GYN. “Screenings help identify certain genetic, endocrine, metabolic, and functional disorders that are not apparent at birth. Early identification helps with treatment. Babies with a potential CCHD can be seen by cardiologists and can receive specialized care and treatment that could prevent death or disability early in life.”
Pennsylvania law requires that all babies be tested for six medical conditions, but at Conemaugh Memorial physicians now test for more than 29 disorders.
Conemaugh Memorial’s Maternity services have been recognized with the HealthGrades Maternity Care Excellence Award for five years in a row for clinical outcomes among the best in the nation.
For More Information, Please Contact:
Amy Bradley, Director of Public Affairs
Phone: (814) 534-3121