Children’s Hospital Colorado
prioritizes legislation that
will have the biggest
impacts on the youngest
NEW LAW HELPS DOCTORS CATCH
Speak Up For Kids
Children’s Hospital Colorado,
in partnership with the Colorado
A new policy requiring the screening all newborns for critical congenital
heart defects was one of Children’s Hospital Colorado’s most impactful
bills of the 2015 legislative session.
Children’s Campaign and the
“We’ve found that if you measure the oxygen levels of babies about
24 hours after they’re born, it picks up kids who might have congenital
heart disease,” says Children’s Colorado’s Christopher Rausch, M.D.
“If they go home not knowing they have a heart problem, they can get
very sick, very quickly.”
Speak Up for Kids Day at
Studies had shown the efficacy of pulse oximetry screening as early as
2007, but the thinner air of high elevation affects blood oxygen.
Dr. Rausch’s team wondered if the test would work as well at Children’s
Colorado, a mile above sea level.
“We did a study at University of Colorado Hospital [which shares a
campus with Children’s Colorado] and at Memorial Hospital in Colorado
Springs, which sits at about 6,500 feet, and proved that, yes, it could
work,” says Dr. Rausch. “Once we proved that, we partnered with the
American Heart Association to pass legislation saying that every baby
born in Colorado below 7,000 feet should get a pulse-ox test.”
House Bill 15-1281 passed May of 2015
The new bill has already saved many lives, including Nonnie Hunziker’s
daughter Sara. Sara seemed in excellent health until 24 hours old, when
the newly standard pulse oximetry screening discovered she was born
with an obstruction preventing her heart from pumping oxygenated
blood to the rest of her body.
As a result, Sara underwent a successful operation by James Jaggers, M.D.,
at Children’s Colorado, and she was able to go home with her family and
embark upon the road to a happy recovery.
Clayton Early Learning Center,
co-hosted the fourth annual
the Capitol in March 2015.
This day-long training for
aspiring advocates serves as
an introduction to the legislative
process for community
members, health care providers,
parents, and teachers from all
over Colorado. In 2015, they
trained more than 160 new
advocates — a record in the
80 Colorado bills
AND CLINICAL LEADERS TESTIFIED
IN 16 COMMITTEE HEARINGS
2015 Community Benefit Report