West Midlands Babies to be Tested for Congenital Heart Disease

Posted on Friday 30th November 2007

Researchers from the University of Birmingham and Birmingham Women’s Hospital are beginning a study looking at screening all new born babies for congenital heart disease. 

Six hospitals across the West Midlands will be measuring oxygen levels in all new born babies using a simple test which takes only a few seconds.  Babies with low oxygen levels may be more at risk from heart disease. 

Dr Andrew Ewer, principal investigator, says, ‘Congenital heart disease is not common, but it can be very serious for new born babies.  We know that our current screening methods miss some babies who then go on to become very unwell or even die.  We hope this quick and easy test will identify those babies with problems much sooner so that treatment can be started earlier.’

The charity 'Young at Heart' which is a support group for babies and children with heart disease are having their annual Xmas party on Sunday 2nd December at Aston Villa Football Club.  They are supporting the study for the benefit of all babies.

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For further information

Kate Chapple, Press Officer, University of Birmingham, tel 0121 414 2772 or 07789 921164.