Friday, August 5, 2011

Simple device helps detect baby heart defects (UK)

Experts are calling for a simple piece of equipment that has been in most hospitals for years to be used on all newborn babies to help detect life-threatening heart defects. A major trial conducted in British hospitals has discovered that using pulse oximeters, a device which measures blood oxygen levels, dramatically increases the chance of identifying major heart faults. The simple, pain-free test has a detection rate of 92% when combined with traditional baby checks. Every year in Britain more than 5,000 babies are born with heart defects and, in the developed world, they are one of the leading causes of infant deaths - Sky News

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