Bill to strengthen newborn screening program passes State Senate - WQOW TV: Eau Claire, WI NEWS18 News, Weather, and Sports

Bill to strengthen newborn screening program passes State Senate

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MADISON (WKOW) -- A big step forward Tuesday for legislation that will open the door for all newborns to be screened for life-threatening congenital heart defects.

The State Senate passed legislation expanding the authority of the newborn screening program.

Currently, the program only has the authority to conduct screenings using the baby's blood or urine.

Senate Bill 523 will allow them to add other types of screening, including the pulse oximetry test to check for serious heart problems.

It's a step most states across the country have taken, but not Wisconsin.

The American Heart Association has long advocated for congenital heart defect (CHD) screenings to be added to the list of required newborn screenings.

Senate Bill 523 now heads to the Assembly floor for a vote Thursday and, if passed, onto Governor Walker.

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