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Infant heart screening test approved by House

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OKLAHOMA CITY—A bill that requires infants to undergo a more efficient heart screening procedure was approved by the Oklahoma House of Representatives.

House Bill 1347 would require hospitals and other birthing facilities to perform a pulse oximetry screening on every newborn before they are discharged from the facility.

“Pulse oximetry screenings are the newest and best way to detect congenital heart defects that are often not identified by other methods,” said Rep. Dan Kirby. “Requiring these screenings will ensure more newborns survive their first weeks of life and have fewer health problems as they continue to grow and develop.”

Officials say the screening is a noninvasive test that measures the percentage of hemoglobin in blood that is saturated with oxygen.

HB 1347 now advances to the state Senate.