Mandate this test
For the second time, I was privileged to participate in the American Heart Association (AHA) Advocacy Day in Harrisburg. This event kicks off Heart Month and helps to raise awareness about crucial heart-related issues.
Heart disease and stroke weren't on my radar until I had a stroke at age 34. Getting involved as a volunteer with AHA has been empowering and enlightening.
Our main goal for this year was to find a bill sponsor to mandate pulse oximetry screening to identify Critical Congenital Heart Disease (CCHD), the leading cause (24 percent) of birth-defect-related deaths. Pulse oximetry screening is a simple, low-cost, noninvasive test that helps identify newborns at risk for heart defects, with a 90-percent success rate for doing so. Legislation requiring pulse oximetry screening will guarantee that all newborns receive this test!
It is estimated that 85 percent of newborns who undergo surgery for CCHD will reach adulthood. A stroke survivor who accompanied me on this trip spoke about its importance. At age 29, she suffered a stroke during pregnancy due to a clot resulting from a heart defect. If this test had been available when she was an infant, her heart would have been repaired and this stroke could have been prevented.
Her children were not screened for CCHD despite their mother's condition: This is incomprehensible! If you would like to learn more or join me as an AHA volunteer, visit heart.org.
TribLive commenting policy
You are solely responsible for your comments and by using TribLive.com you agree to our Terms of Service.
We moderate comments. Our goal is to provide substantive commentary for a general readership. By screening submissions, we provide a space where readers can share intelligent and informed commentary that enhances the quality of our news and information.
While most comments will be posted if they are on-topic and not abusive, moderating decisions are subjective. We will make them as carefully and consistently as we can. Because of the volume of reader comments, we cannot review individual moderation decisions with readers.
We value thoughtful comments representing a range of views that make their point quickly and politely. We make an effort to protect discussions from repeated comments â either by the same reader or different readers.
We follow the same standards for taste as the daily newspaper. A few things we won't tolerate: personal attacks, obscenity, vulgarity, profanity (including expletives and letters followed by dashes), commercial promotion, impersonations, incoherence, proselytizing and SHOUTING. Don't include URLs to Web sites.
We do not edit comments. They are either approved or deleted. We reserve the right to edit a comment that is quoted or excerpted in an article. In this case, we may fix spelling and punctuation.
We welcome strong opinions and criticism of our work, but we don't want comments to become bogged down with discussions of our policies and we will moderate accordingly.
We appreciate it when readers and people quoted in articles or blog posts point out errors of fact or emphasis and will investigate all assertions. But these suggestions should be sent via e-mail. To avoid distracting other readers, we won't publish comments that suggest a correction. Instead, corrections will be made in a blog post or in an article.