Md. Mandatory Newborn Screening Law Takes Effect Saturday

Law will require newborns to be screened for congenital heart disease

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    A new Maryland law will require that newborns be screened for critical congenital heart disease.

    Health officials at the University of Maryland Children's Heart Program say the law, which goes into effect Saturday, requires screening by pulse oximetry. The test is painless and involves wrapping one sensor around a baby's hand and one around the foot to measure the saturation of oxygen in their blood.

    The test takes only a few minutes.


    Officials say the disease can often be identified prenatally by ultrasound, but 40 percent of cases are missed.