Skip to main content

Children's National Medical Center and Baby's First Test Join Forces to Advance Screening for Critical Congenital Heart Disease in Newborns

Washington, DC -- Today, Children’s National Medical Center and Baby’s First Test released two videos on screening for critical congenital heart disease (CCHD) using pulse oximetry (pulse ox) in newborns. The videos, produced for parents and clinicians respectively, were designed to forward knowledge about the test.

CCHD screening is quickly becoming a standard of care across the country. Nine states have passed legislation surrounding CCHD screening of newborns, and many more have legislation or executive committees examining the implementation of the procedure. In September 2011, CCHD screening was endorsed by the Department of Health and Human Services to be included in the recommended uniform screening panel for newborns in the U.S.

Children’s National is a national leader in research and advocacy on screening newborns for CCHD. “The videos we are releasing today are essential to our efforts to educate parents and clinicians about critical congenital heart disease screening. We have learned that the pulse ox test can be used to identify newborns with CCHD before discharge from birthing facilities. We know that approximately 3 of every 1,000 babies born are affected by CCHD and early detection of serious forms of the disease may improve health outcomes for those babies,” said Gerard Martin, MD, Senior Vice President of the Center for Heart Lung and Kidney at Children’s National.

Baby’s First Test, which is operated by the non-profit group Genetic Alliance, is the nation's newborn screening education center for families and providers. “We are thrilled to offer these videos to parents who want to understand what tests their babies are getting, and why; and to clinicians who want to learn more about the use of pulse ox in the newborn nursery,” said Natasha Bonhomme, Director of Baby’s First Test.

To view the videos, please visit or Baby’s First Test.

Read more about Pulse Ox screening here.

Contact: Emily Dammeyer or Susan Muma at 202-476-4500.

About Baby’s First Test

Baby's First Test, the nation's newborn screening information center, is dedicated to educating parents, health professionals, and the public about the newborn screening system. Baby’s First Test provides information and resources about screening at the local, state, and national. This initiative is funded through a cooperative agreement from the Genetic Services Branch of the Maternal and Child Health Bureau of the Health Resources and Services Administration to Genetic Alliance, a 25-year old non-profit organization that seeks to improve health through the authentic engagement of communities and individuals. For more information, visit or follow us on Facebook and Twitter.

Media Contacts