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Pulse oximetry screening: a review of diagnosing critical congenital heart disease in newborns

Authors Engel M, Kochilas L

Received 9 December 2015

Accepted for publication 25 February 2016

Published 11 July 2016 Volume 2016:9 Pages 199—203

DOI https://doi.org/10.2147/MDER.S102146

Checked for plagiarism Yes

Review by Single-blind

Peer reviewers approved by Dr Feng Wei

Peer reviewer comments 2

Editor who approved publication: Dr Scott Fraser

Melissa S Engel,1 Lazaros K Kochilas2

1Division of Neonatology, University of Minnesota, Minneapolis, MN, 2Children’s Healthcare of Atlanta, Emory University, Atlanta, GA, USA

Abstract: Congenital heart disease (CHD) is one of the most common birth defects, with an incidence of nine out of every 1,000 live births. The mortality of infants with CHD has decreased over the past 3 decades, but significant morbidity and mortality continue to occur if not diagnosed shortly after birth. Pulse oximetry was recommended as a screening tool to detect critical CHD in 2011 by the American Academy of Pediatrics and the American Heart Association. Pulse oximetry is a tool to measure oxygen saturation, and based on the presence of hypoxemia, many cardiac lesions are detected. Due to its ease of application to the patient, providing results in a timely manner and without the need for calibrating the sensor probe, pulse oximetry offers many advantages as a screening tool. However, pulse oximetry has also important limitations of which physicians should be aware to be able to assess the significance of the pulse oximetry measurement for a given patient. This review aims to highlight the benefits and shortcomings of pulse oximetry within the context of screening for critical CHD and suggests future avenues to cover existing gaps in current practices.

Keywords:
congenital heart disease, critical congenital heart disease, pulse oximetry, newborn, newborn screening

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