09 May 2012

Pulse Oximetry Last Line of Defense for Newborns

Story first appeared in the Herald Tribune.
Infants born at the Women’s Center at Lakewood Ranch have a new line of defense against heart defects that can be linked to SIDS, or Sudden Infant Death Syndrome.

Parents now have the option to have a Pulse Oximetry, or “Pulse-Ox” test conducted on their newborn after the baby reaches 24 hours of life. The Pulse-Ox test identifies lower levels of oxygen which can be a sign of a congenital heart defect that is undetectable prior to the infant reaching 24 hours of life.

The Lakewood Ranch Medical Center Director of Inpatient Services said that this test will serve as an additional line of defense for newborns adapting to life outside of the womb. This way they can receive immediate medical intervention that can potentially save their lives.

The Pulse Oximetry test is conducted by placing a sticky strip, called a Pediatric Pulse Oximeter on the newborn baby’s hand or foot. The strip has a red flashing probe that measures oxygen levels in the baby’s blood.

The Pulse-Ox test compliments the array of services at the Women’s Center at Lakewood Ranch. The hospital features a NICU trained nursing staff, a full service nursery and around-the-clock neonatology services.

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