Did you wear red for National Wear Red Day? Our babies sure did! The American Heart Association donated knit beanies to babies in our Mother/Baby unit and our Newborn and Infant Intensive Care Unit to raise awareness of heart disease in women and congenital heart defects in babies.
Heart disease is the No. 1 killer of women age 20 and over, taking the life of 1 in 3 women each year. That means many of the women in these babies’ lives, including mothers, grandmothers, aunts and sisters, or even the babies themselves, could be affected by heart disease at some point during their lifetime. Yet only 1 in 5 women believe heart disease is their greatest health threat.
Up to 1.3 million Americans have some form of congenital heart defect. In the United States, about 36,000 children are born with a heart defect each year. At least nine of every 1,000 infants born each year have a heart defect. In 2012, Woman’s implemented a newborn heart screening called pulse oximetry prior to it becoming a state mandate in 2013. Pulse oximetry is a non-invasive method for detecting low oxygen levels in the blood—a significant indicator of heart issues in babies. In its first year and a half of pulse oximetry screening, the hospital found four newborns with insufficient oxygen among nearly 10,000 births. Pulse oximetry testing and Woman’s quick reaction saved these four infants’ lives.
To learn more about heart disease and congenital birth defects, visit www.goredforwomen.org.