Senator McLachlan Pushes For Legislation Concerning Infant Congenital Heart Ailment

Senator McLachlan Pushes For Legislation Concerning Infant Congenital Heart Ailment

Photo contributed.

From the Office of Sen. McLachlan–

On Wednesday, March 7, State Sen. Michael McLachlan (R-Danbury) will testify before the legislature’s Public Health Committee in favor of a bill which would require screening for heart defects to be conducted on newborns in Connecticut.

Sen. McLachlan’s constituent, Marie Hatcher of Sherman, has been a strong advocate of the measure.  Her son Matthew was born with a congenital heart defect.  She’s started a nonprofit group — Matthew’s Heart of Hope Inc., whose website is — to raise money and awareness.

Hatcher will attend Wednesday’s hearing in Hartford and testify on behalf of the bill.

“There is no better advocate to have by my side on this issue than Marie Hatcher,” Sen. McLachlan said.  “Many legislators are unaware that this simple, non-invasive, and cost-effective screening is not required.  It is my hope that we can convince legislators that learning about congenital heart defects and screening for those defects can and will save lives.  We will note that early detection leads to early intervention to correct the defect so children can lead a normal life.”

McLachlan said the method of screening, which is called Pulse Oximetry Screening, is a way to check for serious congenital heart defects before the newborn leaves the hospital.  This test evaluates oxygenation levels in the newborn’s blood through an external sensing device.  A pulse oximetry reading below a specified level signals the need for more testing to determine whether a congenital heart defect is the cause. 

Every year, 35,000 babies are diagnosed with a congenital heart defect.  While the defect takes many forms, the common denominator is diminished oxygenation of the infant’s vital organs.

Sen. McLachlan noted that The American College of Cardiology, the American Heart Foundation, and the American Academy of Pediatrics endorse Pulse Oximetry Screening of newborns.

The bill  –  S.B. No. 56 : An Act Concerning Pulse Oximetry Screening for Newborn Infants –  will be heard at 10 a.m. in Room 1 D of the Legislative Office Building.

Related story & video here:


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Posted on March 7, 2012, in Home. Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.

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