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Federal money to help medical researchers teach heart disease screening in babies


MILWAUKEE (WTAQ) - Wisconsin medical researchers are getting $900,000 federal dollars to show hospitals how to screen for critical congenital heart disease in newborn babies.

Milwaukee Children’s Hospital and the nearby Medical College of Wisconsin will start gathering data next month to better understand the use of what’s known as “POX” screening in babies. It’s part of a current screening project called “SHINE,” which found that early heart disease is missed in about 1-of-every-25,000 Wisconsin newborns. And the missed diagnosis results in death in 1-of-every-40,000 cases.

Medical College pediatrics professor Stuart Berger says the three-year federal funding will show hospitals how to perform the infant heart screening – identify places where further evaluations can be done – and determining the impact on all Wisconsin families.

The U.S. Centers for Disease Control says 1-of-every-7,000 babies are born with critical congenital heart disease – and it often requires surgeries in the infants’ first year of life.