Pulse oximetry screening saves precious lives

American Heart Association website
Updated:Aug 12,2013

Alaska Pulse Ox
Alaska Pulse Ox

Thanks to our You’re The Cure volunteers and advocates, pulse oximetry screening of newborns has become law in five states in our affiliate — Alaska, California, Nevada, Oregon and Utah. The lifesaving test involves a sensor placed on a baby’s hand and foot to check blood oxygen levels. Research suggests that wider implementation of this screening could help identify over 90 percent of heart defects.

Congenital heart defects (CHD) are a leading cause of birth-defect related deaths in the U.S. One in 125 newborns is born with a CHD and these infants require immediate intervention –within the first few hours, days or months of life. The pulse oximetry test is estimated to cost less than $5 per infant, cheaper than the cost of a hospital diaper change.

Across the nation, American Heart Association advocates have led the way in influencing passage of laws and regulations requiring pulse oximetry screening in 20 states. We are proud the Western States Affiliate played a major role in the passage of one-quarter of those laws and salute our advocates continuing to work diligently on pulse oximetry screening in other areas.

Thanks to all of you – precious lives are being saved every day.

Keep Calm, and Call an Anesthesiologist

California Society of Anesthesiologists (CSA) website
Jul 01, 2013
by Paul Yost, M.D.

While vacationing recently in Palm Springs, CSA member Dr. Ian Chait and his family were enjoying their hotel’s pool and gardens. Dr. Chait was chatting with one of his friends, who had just finished reminiscing about how he used to be a lifeguard when he was younger. Suddenly Dr. Chait’s youngest daughter screamed for help. “Dad! Dad!!”

A blue, limp, unconscious little boy, about 3½ years old, was being pulled from the swimming pool. Dr. Chait leapt over a chaise lounge to get to the child, accompanied by his friend, the former lifeguard. The friend pointed to Dr. Chait and said: “He’s a doctor!” Dr. Chait immediately took charge with his training and skills in airway management. He opened the boy’s airway, and began rescue breathing. The unconscious child coughed, slowly started to breathe, and vomited, while Dr. Chait kept his airway clear. The more than 100 hotel guests at the pool kept deathly quiet as the struggle for life unfolded in front of them. When the little boy regained consciousness and began to cry, the crowd erupted in spontaneous applause. “That was amazing,” said one hotel guest. “I have seen heroes on TV, but never in real life!”

Dr Chait with 3 1/2-year-old boy
Dr Chait with 3 1/2-year-old boy

As a fellow anesthesiologist and colleague of Dr. Chait at the Children’s Hospital of Orange County, I first heard this story when he showed me a Facebook post from his teenage daughter. “I am so proud of my dad for saving that little boy’s life,” she wrote, “but I know he saves peoples’ lives every day!”

Dr. Chait is an excellent anesthesiologist, and he is also very humble. Unless you know him well, you would never guess how skilled he is in the specialty of pediatric anesthesia, or that he volunteers to go on two-week missions, twice a year, with Operation Smile. This international charity treats thousand of children each year with cleft lip deformities, making it possible for them to do things normally that other children take for granted — eat, speak, and smile! He just returned from a mission in Nicaragua, and has also taken care of children as far away as Egypt, Morocco, Peru, China and the Philippines.

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Chris Brown’s type of seizure not uncommon, doctors say

Liz Szabo, USA TODAY 9:19 p.m. EDT August 11, 2013

Doctors say that it’s not uncommon for stress, fatigue or sleep deprivation to cause seizure-like symptoms. Drugs and alcohol also can cause seizures. A single seizure usually causes no lasting damage.

Chris Brown, shown last month, was not hospitalized after his seizure.
(Photo: Tommaso Boddi, WireImage)

Story Highlights

  • A single seizure usually doesn’t cause lasting medical problems
  • When seizures are repeated or more severe, risk is greater of long-term damage
  • Seizures can also be caused by prescription drugs or alcohol and illegal drug use

The type of seizure suffered by singer Chris Brown isn’t uncommon and usually causes no long-term problems, doctors say.

Continue reading “Chris Brown’s type of seizure not uncommon, doctors say” »