Ohio Department of Health requiring heart screenings on all newborn babies

TOLEDO, OH (Toledo News Now) - A new rule from the Ohio Department of Health has gone into effect, impacting hospitals and babies that are born in the state. All newborns will now have to have a special screening done.

Starting Wednesday, all hospitals throughout the state of Ohio are now required to screen newborns for a critical congenital heart disease before they go home.

Doctors say the screening is an easy, non-invasive test which can detect heart defects. This is a way of picking up problems before babies show any other symptoms.

"You place the sensor on the baby's skin, you do it on the right hand and then on one of the feet," said Dr. Mary Ellen Pizza of the Toledo Children's Hospital. "What it does is it measures the oxygen level in the baby's bloodstream."

Sara Conrad just gave birth to her bouncing baby boy Theodore on September 30. She says she is happy a screening like this is now required for newborns.

"Early detection is great, I think it's a sigh of relief for any parent," said Conrad. "They don't want to go home and find out something's wrong later, going home from the hospital hoping everything's ok."

Toledo Children's Hospital has been doing this screening since 2012. Results of this screening from all hospitals statewide will be reported to the Ohio Department of Health.

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