February 22, 2024 Breaking News, Latest News, and Videos

Simple Screening Test At UCLA Catches Newborn’s Heart Condition:

Before he was discharged from UCLA Medical Center, Santa Monica, baby Gaël Villegas received the standard panel of newborn screenings to check for genetic and metabolic diseases and hearing. The results showed a healthy baby.   

Then, one more screening — a non-mandatory test that the UCLA Health System routinely offers — was performed to check for critical congenital heart disease, or CCHD.  

The test, known as a pulse oximetry screening, detected a problem. Baby Gaël was soon diagnosed with a condition that prevented his blood from flowing properly, and he was transferred to Mattel Children’s Hospital UCLA in Westwood. At seven days old, he underwent a six-hour open-heart surgery with Dr. Hillel Laks, a professor of cardiothoracic surgery at UCLA, to repair the defect. Had it been left undetected and untreated, Gaël would have eventually ended up back in the hospital in serious condition.  

“Without the screening, we would have taken him home thinking that he was perfectly healthy,” said Gaël’s father, Davis Villegas. “When they did the test and told us about his heart condition it was hard news to get, but now we see that it was a blessing in disguise. It was better to know about the problem from the beginning so they could fix it.”  

While UCLA has been performing pulse oximetry tests voluntarily for the past year as part of its overall program to provide the best methods for early detection and the prompt initiation of appropriate therapies for CCHD, recently passed legislation mandates that all babies born in California hospitals be screened for CCHD starting July 1.  

“This test is important because it enables us to discover critical congenital heart disease in some babies at a time when they are not yet showing any other signs or symptoms,” said Dr. Jeffrey Smith, a professor of neonatology at Mattel Children’s Hospital UCLA who oversees screenings in the newborn nursery at the hospital’s Westwood campus. “If the problem is not detected before discharge from the hospital, these babies are at risk for rapidly becoming seriously ill or even dying at home. Early detection using pulse oximetry screening gives the baby the best chance for a good outcome.”  

The simple, non-invasive, low-cost test takes only a few minutes to perform. A nurse attaches a probe to a baby’s foot or hand with an adhesive wrap to estimate the percentage of hemoglobin that is saturated with oxygen. Low levels of oxygen can signal a potential problem. If a problem is detected, the infant is then given a diagnostic echocardiogram. Pulse oximetry screening does not detect all congenital heart diseases, so it is possible that a baby with a negative screening result may still have a problem.  

“As pediatric cardiologists, we see the devastating effect that delays in the diagnosis of congenital heart disease can have on these babies when they present later with problems that could have been prevented,” said Dr. Mark Sklansky, a professor and chief of pediatric cardiology at UCLA. “Newborn pulse oximetry screening, along with the recent revision of prenatal ultrasound screenings to expand the routine evaluation of the unborn baby’s heart, exemplifies how the field is recognizing the need to move toward earlier detection of heart defects.  

“Early detection provides the opportunity to plan ahead for appropriate delivery and immediate initiation of the appropriate management of the heart defect once the baby is born,” he said. “For major forms of congenital heart disease, early detection facilitates optimal outcomes.”  

Congenital heart disease represents the most common form of birth defect, as well as the leading cause of birth-defect related death. Congenital heart defects occur in one out of every 100 live births. Approximately 25 percent of these are classified as critical congenital heart defects, requiring intervention within the first weeks or months of life. Complex congenital heart defects can range from a hole between the chambers of the heart to the absence of one or more valves or chambers.  

“We are pleased that California is one of the nation’s early adopters of this important screening, and we hope that all states will implement this test as a routine part of their neonatal screening programs,” said Dr. Thomas Klitzner, the Jack H. Skirball Professor of Pediatrics and director of the Pediatric Medical Home Program at Mattel Children’s Hospital UCLA. Klitzner participated on both the national and state task forces that developed the protocols for screening newborns for critical congenital heart disease using pulse oximetry.  

For more information on Mattel Children’s Hospital UCLA, visit www.uclahealth.org/mattel

in News
Related Posts

Bruce Lurie Gallery Unveils “Give Us Our Flowers” Exhibition

February 21, 2024

February 21, 2024

Philoche’s painting style incorporates vintage subjects to convey a tribute to the resilience of human spirit.  Bruce Lurie Gallery presents...

Portraiture Masterclass with Renowned Photographer Coming to Venice Beach

February 21, 2024

February 21, 2024

Participants will explore the boardwalk alongside Alan, honing their creativity and engaging with the local community. Renowned photographer Alan Shapiro...

“Women in Jazz” Event at the Moss Theater to Benefit College Scholarship Program

February 20, 2024

February 20, 2024

The Scholarship Trains Students to be Ambassadors for Antiracist Learning and Teaching Los Angeles-based jazz vocalist Amber Weekes, an alumna...

Countdown to the 30th Annual SAG Awards: Celebrating Excellence in Film and TV

February 20, 2024

February 20, 2024

SAG Awards Ceremony Set for Feb. 24, 2024, to be Globally Streamed on Netflix The anticipation for the 30th Annual...

“20’s/20s” Exhibit at ARCANE to Showcase Emerging Artists’ Work

February 20, 2024

February 20, 2024

The Featured Artists Were All in Their Twenties During the 2020s ARCANE Space is set to host an exhibition showcasing...

(Video) If Not Now Los Angeles Protest at Vice President Kamala Harris’ Home in Brentwood

February 20, 2024

February 20, 2024

The group held a Shiva or Jewish mourning ceremony as a protest. @smmirrornews If Not Now Los Angeles Protest at...

Atmospheric River Update for Los Angeles, Santa Monica, and Malibu for February 19

February 19, 2024

February 19, 2024

Road Closures, Mudslides, and Heaviest Rainfall of This Storm Still on the Way The City of Los Angeles intensified its...

A Sustainable “Air Taxi” Service Will Operate Out of West L.A.

February 19, 2024

February 19, 2024

Based on Images and Videos, the Aircraft’s Design Mixes a Helicopter With an Airplane By Zach Armstrong Los Angeles is...

Upcoming “Liquid Grooves” Concert Will Have Ocean and Sea Theme

February 19, 2024

February 19, 2024

Compositions Include “Pacific Grooves” by Tyler S. Grant and “Water Reflections” by Yukiko Nishimura The Emeritus Concert Band of Santa...

Los Angeles Gears Up for Another Slow-Moving Storm: Residents Urged to Prepare

February 18, 2024

February 18, 2024

National Weather Service Issues Flood Watch for Los Angeles County Even though Los Angeles County is still recovering from the...

Downtown L.A. and the Pacific Ocean can be seen from this Nearly $50M Palisadian Home

February 18, 2024

February 18, 2024

A movie theater, waterfall and infinity pool are among its amenities.  By Zach Armstrong A seven bedroom Palisadian estate with...

Two Bedroom Santa Monica Condo Lists for $9.5M

February 18, 2024

February 18, 2024

Originally established in 1928 and meticulously reconstructed in 1996, El Tovar By The Sea stands as an architectural masterpiece Originally...

(Video) Ghost Kitchen Kitchen United MIX has closed on Third Street Promenade

February 16, 2024

February 16, 2024

The Kitchen United MIX Location in Westwood is also closed. It’s a Wingstop Now. @smmirrornews Ghost Kitchen Kitchen United MIX...

Pacific Coast Highway In Western Malibu Faces Nightly Closures Due to Erosion Until Further Notice

February 15, 2024

February 15, 2024

Caltrans Implements Emergency Measures to Address Ocean Side Shoulder Damage Starting on February 14, a full closure of Pacific Coast...

Fiery Crash Shuts Down Pacific Coast Highway in Malibu Near Nicholas Canyon

February 15, 2024

February 15, 2024

Collision and Vehicle Fire Leads to Helicopter Evacuation of Injured Driver A two-car traffic accident resulted in the destruction of...