FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE:
Tuesday, February 11, 2014
Statement From Delegate Comstock On Passage Of Pulse Oximetry Bill During Congenital Heart Defect Awareness Week
Richmond, VA- Today, Delegate Barbara Comstock (R-34) issued the following statement recognizing Congenital Heart Defect Awareness Week:
"This week marks Congenital Heart Defect (CHD) Awareness Week. CHD Awareness Week is an annual awareness effort to help educate the public about congenital heart defects. Participants include individuals, local support groups, national and local organizations and congenital cardiology centers throughout the world.
This year I introduced legislation, House Bill 387, that would save the lives of newborn babies by expanding screening for critical congenital heart defects. House Bill 387 would ensure that simple pulse oximetry screening for critical congenital heart defects is performed on every baby prior to discharge as the new standard of care in the Commonwealth.
It is therefore fitting this week that House Bill 387 passed the Senate unanimously by a vote of 40-0. This bill also passed the House of Delegates on January 28, 2014, by a vote of 98-0 and will now be sent to Governor Terry McAuliffe, who has 7 days to sign House Bill 387 into law.
Critical congenital heart defects can result in death or disability if left undetected. By ensuring that all newborns are screened for these life-threatening conditions before leaving the hospital, House Bill 387 will help save lives."
In 2011, pulse oximetry screening was added to the U.S. Department of Health and Human Resources' Recommended Newborn Screening Panel. Since then, over 25 states have enacted statewide screening policies and many hospitals in Virginia already screen newborns for CCHDs. However, pulse oximetry screening for all newborns prior to discharge is not currently the standard of care in Virginia.
Delegate Comstock currently serves as the Chairwoman of the House Science and Technology Committee. She also serves on the House Commerce and Labor and the House Transportation Committees. Delegate Comstock represents parts of McLean, Great Falls and Vienna in Fairfax County and parts of Sterling and Potomac Falls in Loudoun County.