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The Women's Care Center at Covenant Children's Hospital

Critical Congenital Heart Defect Screening

Critical Congenital Heart Defect screening can help to identify babies born with certain congenital heart defects (CHD) so that corrective procedures can be started right away. Some babies born with a critical CHD appear healthy and may go home with their family before their heart defect is detected.

To help detect some infants with a critical CHD, Texas State law requires babies have a screening done before leaving the hospital. The test is a measurement of the oxygen saturation read by a sensor place on the baby’s hand and foot. This screen is most likely to detect:

  • D-Transposition of the great arteries
  • Hypoplastic left heart syndrome
  • Pulmonary atresia (with intact septum)
  • Total anomalous pulmonary venous connection
  • Tetralogy of Fallot
  • Tricuspid atresia
  • Truncus arteriosus

The screening should be done when the baby is at least 24 hours old, and may be repeated in an hour if necessary. The screen is simple and safe and will be performed by a Registered Nurse caring for you and your baby during your stay.

For more information about Critical Congenital Heart Defects and the screening, visit

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