The UK NSC recommendation on Congenital heart disease screening in newborns
||Systematic population screening programme recommended
|Last review completed
|Next review due in
Evidence to support continuation or cessation of existing screening programmes should be reviewed regularly. The process for this is currently being revised, which is why this topic does not currently have a review date. The new process will be published in due course. Each programme has an active portfolio of research, evidence and audit to support continual improvement. Find out more about congenital heart disease screening, part of the newborn and infant physical examination programme in England.
Congenital heart disease screening is part of the physical examination of newborn babies and again at 6-8 weeks.
The UK NSC recommends piloting the use of pulse oximetry test to evaluate the potential benefits of its use as a new screening test for congenital heart disease.
Find general information about population health screening.
More about Congenital heart disease
Congenital heart defects (CHDs) affect about 8 in 1000 (approx. 1%) newborn babies. CHDs cover a wide range of problems of the heart. Some defects resolve by themselves and more severe defects require urgent treatment. In the vast majority of cases the cause of the problem is not known. In families where there is an affected child there is usually only a slight increase in risk with future pregnancies of around 3%. In some families with a recognised genetic cause, the risk of recurrent heart problems in future pregnancy is much higher.
A number of frequently asked questions have been developed following the last review in 2014.
Screening in the UK
Compare how screening is offered across the UK.
• British Congenital Cardiac Association
• British Heart Foundation
• Children's Heart Federation
• Faculty of Public Health
• Royal College of General Practitioners
• Royal College of Nursing
• Royal College of Paediatrics and Child Health
• Royal College of Surgeons
• Tiny Tickers
The stakeholder groups will be involved when the recommendation is next reviewed.
If you think your organisation should be added, please
More about the recommendation review process, including the role of stakeholders,
can be found in the guide to Engaging with the UK NSC's recommendation review process.
Consultation responses from indiv (PDF document, 641KB, 06/05/14)
Consultation responses from orgs. (PDF document, 1.12MB, 06/05/14)
Consultation responses linked to CHFed campaign (PDF document, 1.16MB, 06/05/14)
Pulse Ox. Frequently Asked Questions (PDF document, 164KB, 06/05/14)
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