Prevalence of critical congenital heart defects (CCHD) is 1.5–3/1000 newborns. Early discharge from nurseries may postpone CCHD detection. There is a search for additional screening modalities for early diagnosis of CCHD.
Aim 1. Estimation of usefulness of physical examination (PE), pulse oximetry (POX) and echocardiography (ECHO) in CCHD screening detection
2. Evaluation of parents’ attitude to POX as CCHD diagnostic screening modality
Methods PE, POX, ECHO were done in all well newborns born during two year period in one hospital. PE was performed routinely, POX was done > 24th hour of life (cut-off < 95%). ECHO was carried out before discharge in asymptomatic newborns or after abnormal PE or POX. Statistical analysis was performed.
Results Among 4589 babies, 311 were excluded. CHD was diagnosed in 103 newborns. CCHD was detected in 10 newborns (2.3/1000) based on: PE in 5, POX in 9, and ECHO in 10. Pulse oximetry approval questionnaire showed that 95% of mothers participated in the study without hesitation and more than 99% approved the idea of implementing population pulse oximetry screening.
PE supported by POX provide optimal early neonatal CCHD detection screening.
Screening ECHO detects insignificant cardiovascular problems, leading to unnecessary follow-up.
POX as the CCHD screening test is unanimously accepted by parents.