New Jersey the First State to Mandate Newborn Congenital Heart Disease Screening

On Thursday, June 2, 2011, New Jersey enacted new legislation (#A3744/S2752) mandating that every newborn in New Jersey be required to undergo congenital heart disease screening. The pulse oximetry test, or “pulse ox,” painlessly and non-invasively measures the percentage of oxygen in the newborn’s blood; and therefore is an indicator of how effectively the newborn’s heart and lungs are functioning.

As the first state in the U.S. to implement this law, it is expected that the New Jersey pulse oximetry test will identify nearly 100% of those infants who may have congenital heart defects. This detection is anticipated to help provide early treatment and prevent life-threatening injury or death.

Assemblyman Jason O’Donnell, who is the father of a son born with a congenital heart defect, helped sponsor the bill. He stated, “This measure is about saving lives. Our newborns deserve the best care we can offer them and pulse ox testing should be included in that care.”

Since medical professionals are responsible for ensuring that a newborn is accurately and timely screened for medical conditions to help prevent further progression of their illness, a failure to properly make such assessments would be considered medical negligence or malpractice in most cases.

A New Jersey heart defect attorney at Blume Forte can help family members assess their options and help determine whether a viable medical malpractice claim may be pursued. Our newborn birth injury lawyers have decades of experience in this specialized area of law; and we have the resources required to assist our clients in properly evaluating the merits of their claim. For a no-cost consultation, call 973-845-4421.

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