WEDNESDAY, June 17, 2020 (HealthDay News) — Changes have been suggested for the newborn critical congenital heart disease (CCHD) screening algorithm, according to a study published online June 4 in Pediatrics.

Gerard R. Martin, M.D., from the Children’s National Hospital in Washington, D.C., and colleagues reviewed CCHD outcomes, variations in the approach to screening, and data and quality improvement to identify opportunities for improvement in newborn screening as part of an expert panel.

The expert panel found sufficient evidence to modify the current American Academy of Pediatrics CCHD screening algorithm. The panel recommended requiring oxygen saturation of at least 95 percent in both the upper and lower extremities in order to pass. In addition, they recommended requiring only one repeat screen for cases that neither pass nor fail initially. The panel was in favor of not changing the time of screening but acknowledged that earlier screening before 24 hours is acceptable. The importance of improving public health reporting by further specifying targets of screening and criteria for reporting outcomes was emphasized. In addition, the panel highlighted the need to ensure sufficient public health funding for CCHD newborn screening and opportunities for education and global implementation.

“It’s critical that we help public health programs focus on protocol adherence and standardize data collection so we can accurately gauge the cases we capture and those we miss,” a coauthor said in a statement.

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