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Cardiovascular anomalies are commonest congenital malformation (6-8/1000) responsible for majority of the deaths in the first year of life.1 Critical congenital heart defect (cCHD) is defined as any serious congenital cardiac defect which causes neonatal mortality or need for cardiac catheterisation or surgery during first 28 days of life.
Routine neonatal examination fails to detect 30 to 50 % babies with cCHD and they are discharged home without a diagnosis.7
Clinical signs of cCHD in the neonates may be subtle or they may present with cyanosis, unexplained acidosis, and tachypnoea without respiratory concerns, shock or even sudden death.8 One-sixth of the neonates with cCHD have persistent ductusarteriosus which is necessary for survival.1
An alliance of some 20 pro-life organizations called Reform CCHD Now (RCN) launched a barrage of specific charges and called for Catholics to boycott the Campaign's 2009 November collection.
bishops refused to allow the 2009 CCHD collection to be taken up in their dioceses.
A newer voice is Texas-based Bellarmine Veritas Ministries, which calls itself a "Catholic grass-roots organizing ministry." Its founder, Rob Gaspar, was largely responsible for compiling the battery of accusations against CCHD in 2009, which other groups are disseminating, adding their own grievances as well.
CCHD activities increased from one state in 2010 to 10 states in 2011 (Table).
State-level Title V maternal and child health programs and birth defects surveillance programs have potential roles in surveillance and evaluation of CCHD screening (5).
The rationale is that most CCHD results in a degree of hypoxaemia that would not necessarily produce visible cyanosis and would therefore not be clinically detectable.
In 2011, the AAP and the Secretary for Health and Human Services recommended the addition of POx screening to routine newborn screening to detect CCHD in the USA.
DPH requested assistance from CDC to assess the current practices and feasibility of routine screening for CCHD in Georgia.
Of the 71 hospitals that responded to the initial survey, 22 (31%) reported currently screening for CCHD using pulse oximetry in their well-baby nursery (11 began in 2010 or 2011, nine in 2012, and two did not indicate when they started); 34 (48%) had plans to start (20 by the end of 2012 and 14 at other times); 14 (20%) had no plans to start; and one did not know of plans to start.
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