2 May 2012
Newborn babies should be screened for heart problems with the aid of a simple procedure, new research has concluded.
The British Heart Foundation (BHF) has analysed 13 previous studies and found plenty of advantages regarding a screening method called pulse oximetry.
As a result of the research, which has been published in The Lancet, the organisation is calling for the test to be adopted internationally to measure blood oxygen levels in babies.
Professor Peter Weissberg, medical director of the BHF, gave his backing to the increased use of pulse oximetry.
He explained: "It is a simple, cheap and non-invasive test, but it will have to be supported by echocardiography services to determine the nature of the heart defect in babies with low oxygen levels."
Meanwhile, American researchers have carried out their own study and suggested that molecules called microRNAs have the means to transform scarred tissue back into healthy heart muscle cells following a heart attack.
Posted by Philip Briggs
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