Pulse oximetry screening for congenital heart disease

Academic Article


  • The recent paper by Ewer et al and an accompanying editorial in the Lancet raised the question of universal pulse oximetry screening of newborn infants on the postnatal ward prior to discharge. In the Republic of Ireland there are 75,000 births annually, distributed across nineteen maternity units. We surveyed all of these units regarding the use of oxygen saturation screening on the postnatal ward. A total of eight out of the nineteen units currently perform pulse oximetry screening. At the present time in Ireland it is clearly not universally practiced. Consequently one half of all babies with a cardiac condition are discharged from the postnatal ward without a diagnosis. It is estimated that in the UK that up to 100 otherwise healthy infants die each year from undetected congenital heart disease.
  • Authors

    Author List

  • Travers C; Murphy JFA
  • Start Page

  • 14
  • Volume

  • 105
  • Issue

  • 4