Governor signs bill strengthening WI newborn screenings - WKOW 27: Madison, WI Breaking News, Weather and Sports

Governor signs bill strengthening WI newborn screenings

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MILWAUKEE (WKOW) -- Governor Walker signed a bill Monday to strengthen Wisconsin's newborn screening program.

Senate Bill 523 opens the door for Wisconsin to add congenital heart defect (CHD) screening for all newborns, also known as pulse oximetry, by giving the Department of Health Services the authority to do so.

It is recommended the CHD screening be done between 24-48 hours after delivery.

Pulse oximetry is simple. On babies, it's a probe with a light on the end that is attached to the baby's hand and foot with an adhesive.

It doesn't puncture the baby's skin and only takes minutes to administer.

The test shows how well the baby's blood is saturated with oxygen, an indicator of how well the heart is functioning.

The American Heart Association is a supporter of the legislation and applauds the move.

It will now work with DHS to try to get it implemented.

Adding CHD screening would still need to go through a number of steps at DHS to be approved.

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