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Heart test that saved baby in Tacoma recommended for all newborns
A baby's heart defect was detected before he even left the Family Birth Center thanks to a newborn heart test offered to all healthy-appearing newborns at MultiCare Tacoma General Hospital.
"I feel very lucky that we decided to do the test. I feel very lucky that we were at Tacoma General," the boy's mother told KING 5 TV (see video below). "I think the stars aligned. Somebody was looking out for us, for him, and it essentially saved his life."
Called pulse oximetry, the painless test detects low levels of oxygen in the blood, which may be indicative of a heart defect. From 2008 until this year, Tacoma General Hospital was the only hospital in the state to offer the test to every healthy-appearing newborn. More than 9,000 day-old babies have been screened at Tacoma General.
Earlier this year, MultiCare Tacoma General Hospital’s Family Birth Center and the MultiCare Mary Bridge Pediatric Heart Center were chosen to receive the 2011 Warren Featherstone Reid Award for Excellence in Health Care for their pioneering work in screening newborns for heart defects.