A Victory for Missouri Babies
St. Louis, Missouri, July 08, 2013
Law Ensures All Babies Receive Life-Saving Screening
Missouri Governor Jay Nixon will sign the March of Dimes-supported legislation known as Chloe’s Law, into law on Tuesday, July 9, 2013. The signing will take place at St. Louis Children's Hospital at 10:30am.
Chloe's Law mandates pulse oximetry screening of newborns to detect Critical Congenital Heart Disease (CCHD). The test determines the amount of oxygen in the blood and pulse rate. The screening is simple, fast and inexpensive.
Each year about 4,800 babies are born with one of seven critical congenital heart defects. Babies with a CCHD defect are at significant risk for death or disability if the defect is not diagnosed and treated soon after birth. According to the Missouri Department of Health & Senior Services, from 2007 to 2011, 54 Missouri babies died from CCHD.
In September 2011, the Secretary of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services added screening for CCHD to the Recommended Uniform Screening Panel. In Missouri, only about 75 percent of hospitals currently perform the screening. Kelly Manz, mother of Chloe, for whom the bill is named, has been advocating for CCHD legislation for four years.
“March of Dimes has been instrumental in expanding newborn screening in Missouri and across the country,” said Mary Elizabeth Grimes, State Director. “We are so pleased that our state is now supporting this lifesaving screening that will give more babies a healthy start at life.”