Critical congenital heart defect screening to benefit rural hosp - KFDA - NewsChannel 10 / Amarillo News, Weather, Sports

Critical congenital heart defect screening to benefit rural hospital

Guymon, OK - Babies at the Memorial Hospital of Texas County in Guymon will now receive a new screening test, which can detect Critical Congenital Heart Defects.

The hospital began using the Pulse Oximetry Screening test last week and they hope it will make a difference in their rural community.

The Pulse Oximetry test is a simple procedure which can detect seven of the possible thirteen Critical Congenital Heart Defects. 

The test measures the amount of oxygen in the blood and the baby's pulse rate.

"We put a probe on the child's finger and on the child's foot and we wrap a band aid basically around that, check the pulse reading for about a minute and a half, and then make sure that is level and whenever we find out that everything is good, the kid goes back to the Mom," said Dr. David M. King who is a Doctor of Osteopathic Medicine at Memorial Hospital of Texas County.

Oklahoma passed a law in April 2013 requiring all hospitals to perform the Pulse Oximetry Screening.

Hospitals began implementing the test in January and Memorial Hospital of Texas County is one of the first rural hospitals to begin doing the screenings.

"We're one of the first hospitals in the state of Oklahoma to train and implement, and we're a small hospital and so it's amazing when we're able to say this is state of the art care and we're doing that here," King said.

"We think it's a great service for our parents, for our community and especially our babies," Kim Wadley who is the Obstetrics Director at Memorial Hospital of Texas County said.

Hospital officials say this test will save lives.

"We're talking about a small number of kids, but for each one of those kids, for that family it's like 100 percent, so anything we can do to help improve catching these defects is great," said King.

And while the hospital in Guymon is able to test for these critical congenital heart defects, if one is found the baby is then sent to a larger city like Amarillo or Lubbock to be treated.

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