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      Heart screenings mandated for Michigan newborns

      All newborns in Michigan will be screened for critical congenital heart disease starting next year, health officials announced Wednesday. Pulse oximetry screening will be used statewide starting in April, the Michigan Department of Community Health said. Every Michigan newborn currently is screened for 54 different disorders through bloodspots sent to the state health department. "This simple non-invasive screening can save lives, giving Michigan's newborns a chance at a healthy start, which is what every baby deserves," said Dr. Matthew Davis, chief medical executive with state Department of Community Health, in a statement. About 300 babies nationwide are sent home from hospitals each year with undetected congenital heart problems, according to Davis. Failure to detect such problems puts babies at risk of death or other serious complications within the first few days or weeks of life. According to the state, about 65 Michigan birthing hospitals currently screen for CCHD, and 14 more plan to offer the screening soon. Officials earlier began a demonstration project to work with birthing hospitals on the voluntary use of this heart screening. The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services in 2011 approved the addition of CCHD screening to the federally recommended uniform newborn screening panel, and the recommendation was later endorsed by the American Academy of Pediatrics.