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HEART DEFECTS: Parents Push For Newborn Screenings

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A group of Iowa parents pushing to protect newborn babies took their fight to the capitol Tuesday.

The group is lobbying for a law that would require hospitals to perform pulse oximetry screenings on all newborns to test for congenital heart defects.

During the test, a Band-Aid like apparatus is wrapped around the baby’s finger or foot and takes just a few seconds to get a reading.

Mandy Forkner of Humeston knows the importance of the test. Her son didn’t get it when he was born. They later learned he had three heart defects and he died at just six weeks old.

“All hospitals in the state of Iowa have equipment…why not do it? It costs between $1-4 for the test and it’s simple, non-invasive and if definitely is lifesaving,” Forkner explained.

The bill is making progress, it passed in the full senate Monday night. Now it must work its way through the house.