Alabama infant screening effort wins recognition

MONTGOMERY, Ala. (AP) — The March of Dimes has recognized Alabama Health Officer Don Williamson for his leadership in a health department program that screens newborn infants for 30 treatable disorders.

The disorders include Critical Congenital Heart Disease, which the health department began screening for in June.

March of Dimes State Director Camille A. Epps says screening for treatable critical conditions immediately after birth can mean the difference between a healthy child and a severe disability or death.

Newborn screening in Alabama in 2012 identified 162 infants with one of the conditions being screened for by the Health Department.

Health Department officials say screening of infants by measuring blood oxygen saturation can identify specific structural heart defects.

Williamson says 10 Alabama infants have been identified with congenital heart defects because of the screening.

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