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Science, Health and Technology
Thu December 26, 2013
Mo. to start screening newborns for heart disease
Missouri is preparing to start screening every newborn baby for a heart disease that can cause developmental delays or death if left untreated.
The screenings for critical congenital heart disease are required under a new state law that takes effect Jan. 1.
The state Department of Health and Senior Services says an estimated 140 babies are born in Missouri each year with the disease. The noninvasive screenings measure oxygen in the blood and show if a newborn needs treatment with a catheter or surgery.
More than 30 other states have added critical congenital heart disease to the list of disorders for which newborns are screened. The Missouri agency says the tests will prevent babies from being sent home with the risk of developing serious complications in the first few weeks of life.