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Canton Potsdam Hospital institutes test for newborn heart disease

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POTSDAM — Canton Potsdam Hospital has instituted a new test to detect if newborns have critical heart disease.

The test is called pulse oximetry, and is administered by taping a sensor to the baby’s foot, which measures the amount of oxygen in the blood.

If congenital critical heart disease is detected, the baby will receive advanced care.

The disease is rare, but it is the leading cause of infant death due to birth defects, according to the U.S. Center for Disease Control and Prevention. The state legislature mandated CCHD testing be implemented at all hospitals by the end of this year.

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