On November 14, 2013 the Massachusetts Senate unanimously approved a heart-healthy bill sponsored by Senator Benjamin B. Downing (D- Pittsfield): S. 1008, An Act relative to newborn pulse oximetry screenings for congenital heart defects.
S. 1008 requires all Massachusetts newborns to be tested for congenital heart defect through pulse ox screening at hospitals and birth centers before they are discharged. Pulse ox, a non-invasive screening test, can identify infants with a congenital heart defect and newborns at risk for heart defects and potentially save their lives. This commonsense measure is in place in twenty-seven other states across the nation; the bill's implementation date here in the Commonwealth is January 1, 2015.
The legislation enjoys the strong support of the American Heart/American Stroke Association.