A Kansas mother is pushing to get a state mandate that hospitals must give newborns a simple but potentially life-saving blood test.
Missouri now requires hospitals to test the blood oxygen levels of newborns. A pulse oximeter is the non-invasive method for determining this.
The Belleville hospital where Breckyn Reynolds was born had a pulse oximeter and her blood was tested when she was rushed to the emergency room when she was five weeks old.
Her mother, Kim Reynolds, believes if the test had been done when she was born then her heart condition would have been detected sooner and long-term damage wouldn't have occurred to Breckyn's heart because of the delay.
"It's painless to the baby and only takes a couple of minutes to do," said Dr. Steve Olsen of Children's Mercy Hospital.
It pains Kim Reynolds that only 30 percent of Kansas hospitals test newborns because there isn't a state law requiring it like Missouri has.
The American Heart Association is backing the effort.
While her sisters play basketball and volleyball, the now 5-year-old Breckyn knows she can't. She now has permanent hypertension in her lungs due to heart disease. She has undergone four open-heart surgeries and has countless more to go.
Kim Reynolds hopes her plea will be heard by lawmakers. She emphasizes that it won't cost any more money since hospitals already have the equipment.
"This is something that can save lives, save babies a lot of heartache," she said. "It is something that is not expensive to do."
The hospital that treated Breckyn issued an email on Tuesday saying the test is now standard at all births and a respiratory therapist is present at all deliveries.
The test is done several times after birth and when the baby is discharged.
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