On September 11th, the Emerson Rose Act went into effect in South Carolina. All newborns in the state will now be screened for congenital heart defects using pulse oximetry before they are discharged from the hospital. Testing the level of oxygen in a newborn’s blood by performing a pulse oximetry screening can help detect serious heart problems that may otherwise go undetected. The bill was named in honor of Emerson Rose Smith, who was born with a congenital heart defect and lived for 76 days before suddenly passing away. Emerson Rose’s parents, Susan and Jason Smith were a driving force behind the legislation. Congratulations to our AHA staff and volunteers who worked to make this happen to help prevent other parents from experiencing what the Smith’s did.
Photo credit: Emerson Rose Heart Foundation™