Know Someone Who’s Pregnant? Share This Too.
Do you know who Cora is?
Cora has a story, and she is saving lives.
When Cora was five days old, she passed away unexpectedly in her mother’s arms. Doctors later determined that she was born with a congenital heart defect (CHD)–one that wasn’t picked up on ultrasound, one that her mother’s uncomplicated pregnancy showed no signs of, and one that her healthy birth belied.
Despite this all, Cora is saving lives.
Because of her mother Kristine’s tireless efforts and advocacy, Cora’s story has spread far and wide to educate the public about the importance of newborn heart screening, or pulse oximetry screening. Kristine explains the screening as follows:
Newborn heart defect screening (pulse oximetry screening) is a way to screen for these defects in a newborn. It’s important to remember that a passed screening does not mean your baby does not have a heart issue and a failed screening does not mean your baby does have a heart defect. Your doctor will order more testing.
Pulse oximetry is a basic medical tool sometimes called the fifth vital taker. It won’t hurt your baby and is fast, cheap and doesn’t mean you have to be separated from your baby. Talk to your doctor about doing the screening while you are present, or even when you’re holding your baby.
To screen for heart defects, your baby’s nurse or doctor will wrap a pulse oximeter probe around your baby’s foot and hand, to measure the amount of oxygen in your baby’s blood. A low reading can mean a heart defect is present. Sometimes readings will be low due to the equipment used, your baby’s position or another issue.
Not all states and hospitals are routinely screening. While the screening is recommended by the American Academy of Pediatrics, American Heart Association and March of Dimes, you might have to request to have your baby’s heart checked.
This is a test that you can easily ask your doctor, midwife, or hospital staff to perform after your baby is born!
And though it does not detect all heart defects, it can be one step toward saving the lives of those whose defects it does detect.
Cora’s mom, Kristine, is now hoping to continue to raise awareness about CHD and the importance of pulse ox testing by garnering a few more likes on Facebook: the goal is 30,000 likes by the end of the month, to be exact!
So spread the news. Share this image. Help Cora’s Story reach 30,000 likes by the end of the month.
And if you or someone you know is pregnant, ask your maternity care provider about doing a pulse oximetry screening on your baby after s/he is born.
Help Cora keep saving lives!