S T A T E O F N E W Y O R K
I N S E N A T E
March 14, 2012
Introduced by Sen. LARKIN -- read twice and ordered printed, and when
printed to be committed to the Committee on Health
AN ACT to amend the public health law, in relation to requiring facili-
ties to perform pulse oximetry screening on newborns
THE PEOPLE OF THE STATE OF NEW YORK, REPRESENTED IN SENATE AND ASSEM-
BLY, DO ENACT AS FOLLOWS:
Section 1. Legislative intent. Congenital heart defects (CHDs) are
structural abnormalities of the heart that are present at birth; CHDs
range in severity from simple problems such as holes between chambers of
the heart, to severe malformations, such as the complete absence of one
or more chambers or valves; some critical CHDs can cause severe and
life-threatening symptoms which require intervention within the first
days of life.
According to the United States Secretary of Health and Human Services'
Advisory Committee on Heritable Disorders in Newborns and Children,
congenital heart disease affects approximately seven to nine of every
1,000 live births in the United States and Europe. The federal Centers
for Disease Control and Prevention states that CHD is the leading cause
of infant death due to birth defects.
Current methods for detecting CHDs generally include prenatal ultra-
sound screening and repeated clinical examinations; while prenatal
ultrasound screenings can detect some major congenital heart defects,
these screenings, alone, identify less than half of all CHD cases, and
critical CHD cases are often missed during routine clinical exams
performed prior to a newborn's discharge from a birthing facility.
Pulse oximetry is a non-invasive test that estimates the percentage of
hemoglobin in blood that is saturated with oxygen. When performed on a
newborn a minimum of 24 hours after birth, pulse oximetry screening is
often more effective at detecting critical, life-threatening CHDs which
otherwise go undetected by current screening methods. Newborns with
abnormal pulse oximetry results require immediate confirmatory testing
The legislature finds and declares that many newborn lives could
potentially be saved by earlier detection and treatment of CHDs if
EXPLANATION--Matter in ITALICS (underscored) is new; matter in brackets
[ ] is old law to be omitted.
S. 6726 2
birthing facilities in the state of New York were required to perform
this simple, non-invasive newborn screening in conjunction with current
CHD screening methods.
S 2. The public health law is amended by adding a new section 2500-k
to read as follows:
S 2500-K. PULSE OXIMETRY SCREENING OF NEWBORNS. 1. THE COMMISSIONER
SHALL ESTABLISH A PROGRAM TO SCREEN NEWBORN INFANTS FOR CONGENITAL HEART
DEFECTS THROUGH PULSE OXIMETRY SCREENING. IT SHALL BE THE DUTY OF THE
ADMINISTRATIVE OFFICER OR OTHER DESIGNATED PERSON AT EACH FACILITY
LICENSED PURSUANT TO ARTICLE TWENTY-EIGHT OF THIS CHAPTER CARING FOR
NEWBORN INFANTS TO PERFORM A PULSE OXIMETRY SCREENING A MINIMUM OF TWEN-
TY-FOUR HOURS AFTER BIRTH ON EVERY NEWBORN INFANT IN ITS CARE.
2. FACILITIES SUBJECT TO THE PROVISIONS OF THIS SECTION THAT ADMINIS-
TER A NEWBORN INFANT PULSE OXIMETRY SCREENING FOR CONGENITAL HEART
DEFECTS SHALL REPORT TO THE DEPARTMENT IN A MANNER AND FORMAT REQUIRED
BY THE COMMISSIONER:
(A) THE RESULTS OF EACH NEWBORN INFANT PULSE OXIMETRY SCREENING
(B) SUCH OTHER INFORMATION OR DATA AS MAY BE REQUIRED BY THE COMMIS-
SIONER PURSUANT TO REGULATION TO FULFILL THE PURPOSES OF THIS SECTION.
S 3. This act shall take effect on the one hundred eightieth day after
it shall have become a law; provided, however, that effective immediate-
ly, the addition, amendment and/or repeal of any rule or regulation
necessary for the implementation of this act on its effective date are
authorized and directed to be made and completed on or before such