Senate Passes Bill that Requires Life-Saving Screenings on Newborns

David J. Valesky

June 13, 2013

I was pleased to co-sponsor S.270, legislation that requires facilities to perform pulse oximetry screenings on newborns, and even more pleased to meet a family who directly benefited from this test. Jacob Thomas was born April 10, 2012 and appeared to be a healthy newborn. Two days later, his skin turned bluish. A nurse performed a pulse oximetry test on Jacob and learned that his blood-oxygen level was dangerously low. He was diagnosed with a congenital heart defect, which is a common birth defect. The test quickly identified the problem, and Jacob received the treatment he needed to survive. Jacob and his parents, RJ and Kelsey, visited my office in Albany recently. They were there to urge lawmakers to support S.270, and it passed the Senate and the Assembly on June 12, 2013.