The American Heart Association Salutes Missouri Governor Jay Nixon for Signing Chloe's Law, Calling Legislation "Lifesaving"

Jul 09, 2013, 16:59 ET from American Heart Association

Pulse oximetry screening now required for all Missouri newborns

ST. LOUIS, July 9, 2013 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- Governor Jay Nixon signed Chloe's Law during a ceremony at St. Louis Children's Hospital today, mandating pulse oximetry screening for all Missouri newborns. The lifesaving measure had been a top legislative priority for the American Heart Association and the organization celebrates this final important step.

"Because of the important work of the Missouri legislature and the actions taken by Governor Nixon today, newborn lives will be saved statewide," said Jace Smith, Government Relations Director for the American Heart Association in Missouri. "Pulse ox screening is non-invasive, inexpensive and highly effective. In fact, new research suggests that wider use of pulse ox would help identify more than 90 percent of heart defects. We thank the many grassroots volunteers across Missouri who let their voices be heard regarding this important issue."

About Pulse Oximetry Screening:
Pulse oximetry screening consists of sensors placed on a newborn's hand and foot to check blood oxygen levels. If levels are too low, additional tests may be conducted that aid in detecting critical or possibly life-threatening heart defects that might otherwise go undetected.

In September 2011, U.S. Secretary of Health and Human Services Kathleen Sebelius advised that critical congenital heart defects screening be added to the "Recommended Uniform Screening Panel" for newborns before they are released from a hospital or birthing facility. As a result, Missouri now joins several other states including New Jersey, Maryland, Indiana, Tennessee and West Virginia in passing laws that require newborns to have pulse ox screenings prior to being discharged from the hospital.

To learn more about the American Heart Association's advocacy priorities and help in those efforts, the public is encouraged to visit

About the American Heart Association
The American Heart Association is devoted to saving people from heart disease and stroke – America's No. 1 and No. 4 killers. We team with millions of volunteers to fund innovative research, fight for stronger public health policies, and provide lifesaving tools and information to prevent and treat these diseases. The Dallas-based association is the nation's oldest and largest voluntary organization dedicated to fighting heart disease and stroke. To learn more or to get involved, call 1-800-AHA-USA1, visit or call any of our offices around the country. Find us on Facebook and Twitter!

SOURCE American Heart Association