Pulse oximetry screening checks for a set of serious, life-threatening heart defects known as critical congenital heart disease (CCHD). Infants with such heart problems may have low blood oxygen levels.If CCHD is detected early, it often can be treated with surgery or other medical interventions.
Pulse oximetry is a simple test that takes only a couple of minutes to measure how much oxygen is in a newborn's blood. The test is done by placing a painless sensor on the baby's skin so a machine called a pulse oximeter can measure blood oxygen levels. The test is performed after the baby is 24 hours old and before he or she leaves the newborn nursery.