Research published in Health Technol. Assess. has found a quick and painless test that is able to detect more cases of life threatening heart defects in newborn babies.
Congenital heart defects are the most common group of congenital malformations and one of the leading causes of infant death in the developed world. Currently in the UK, all newborn babies undergo a routine screening examination, usually in the first 24 hours after birth, during which, among other things, a careful assessment of the cardiovascular system is undertaken. However, it is estimated that over 50 per cent of babies with undiagnosed congenital heart defects fail to be picked up by routine neonatal examination