TRENTON, N.J. (CBSNewYork/AP) — New Jersey is the first state to require hospitals to check newborns for congenital heart defects.

Gov. Chris Christie signed the measure into law on Thursday.

The measure requires hospitals to perform a test which determines the amount of oxygen in the blood before a newborn is discharged. A low amount may indicate congenital heart disease.

The state Health Department says about 300 babies were born in New Jersey with the type of heart defect detected by pulse oximetry screening between 2008 and 2010.

About one in every 100 babies is born with congenital heart disease a year nationally.

Should this law be adopted by other states besides New Jersey? Sound off in our comments section below…

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Comments (5)
  1. natalie says:

    That’s wonderful !!!!! preventive action to detect conditions before hand is always better than diagnosing it later and make patient suffer. Non invasive procedure like pulse oximetry are innovative ways of diagnosing just like Genowell to screen for genetic metabolic disorder in newborn babies.

  2. DanTe says:

    And are we allowed to remove these genetic rejects than?

  3. G Ryan says:

    I personally have had several friends die from defects since birth they never knew about. If it saves 1 life it is worth it.
    Imagine being in a hospital and your heart blows out and not being able to be saved yet this was a birth defect. I know of it happening.

  4. Mitch says:

    My understanding is, that Pulse oximetry is a non-invasive/painless test that only take a minute to perform and the results are instantaneous..
    I find it hard to believe that this potentially life saving, screening test requires a law.
    I would think it’s just “good medicine”!

  5. amanda says:

    Great to hear! I know I would want to know ASAP if something like that was going on with my child! Here in ohio our state law requires hospitals to put antibiotic ointment in babies eyes!

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