Heart on the Hill lobby day - WQOW TV: Eau Claire, WI NEWS18 News, Weather, and Sports

Heart on the Hill lobby day


MADISON (WKOW) -- Volunteers met with lawmakers this week with the goal of saving young lives.

Congenital heart defects are the leading cause of infant death in the U.S.

Doctors say a pulse oximetry test can help identify some of those heart defects.

The American Heart Association says the test is simple, inexpensive and noninvasive.

Supporters are lobbying lawmakers to make it mandatory for all Wisconsin hospitals to screen newborns for congenital heart defects before they're sent home.

UW Pediatric Cardiologist and researcher, Dr. John Hokanson says, "Unfortunately, there are babies who have very serious heart problems that can look perfectly normal at the time they go home from the hospital."

State Senator Jerry Petrowski introduced the legislation.

He says, "So many of the hospitals are already doing it. So it's just important that we do it across the state."

Gretchen Whitehurst was among those lobbying lawmakers Tuesday.

She says a pulse ox test saved the life of her son, Cooper.

We brought you her family's story last month.

You can watch it again and find more information on pulse ox by clicking here.


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