- Associated Press - Tuesday, January 28, 2014

ALBANY, N.Y. (AP) - New York hospitals are now required to screen newborns for heart defects under a new law.

The measure, which took effect Monday, requires all birthing facilities to administer the test called pulse oximetry (ox-IHM-uhtree) screening.

The one-minute procedure provides early detection of heart defects that could be addressed quickly by surgery, potentially saving babies.

The process involves taping a small sensor to a newborn’s foot as light is beamed at the foot to measure the amount of oxygen in the blood. The screening is more effective than more common tests and some hospitals already use it.

The American Heart Association, which pushed for the law, says nearly one in every 100 babies born annually have a congenital heart defect.

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