New Neb. Law Will Require Newborn Heart Screenings

LINCOLN -- Newborns in Nebraska will have to get screened for a potentially fatal heart disease, under a new state law. Gov. Dave Heineman approved a measure Monday that will require screenings for critical congenital heart disease, a leading cause of death in newborns. Newborns sent home with undetected heart defects can go into cardiac shock, and are at a greater risk of brain damage, developmental disabilities or death. The current screening standard for congenital heart disease is a non-invasive procedure, in which a sticky strip is placed on a newborn's hand or foot. The bill was introduced by Sen. Jim Smith, of Papillion. Smith says the screenings are easy and inexpensive, and will save lives.

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