ALBANY, N.Y. – Members of the American Heart Association, the March of Dimes and concerned parents are gathering at 1 p.m. Monday at the Capitol to lobby for new legislation that would help detect heart defects in newborns.
The pulse ox test uses a sensor on a baby's finger and toe to detect low levels of oxygen in a baby's bloodstream. These low levels are often the first signs of a heart defect.
Congenital heart defects are the most common birth defect in the U.S. affecting one in 100 babies. Wider use of pulse ox testing could identify more than 90 percent of heart defects.
Parents and their children born with congenital heart defects who had open heart surgery as infants will be at the legislative office building at one o'clock to petition Senate Majority Leader Dean Skelos. They will be wearing red ‘Heart Hero' capes as they stand with their families.
The Pulse Ox bill has already passed in the Assembly, it now awaits Senate approval.