Sim­ple test can save lives of ba­bies

Central Leader - - YOUR PAPER, YOUR PLACE - CA­TRIN OWEN

Bowie Macmil­lan is one of 12 ba­bies born each week with a heart con­di­tion in New Zealand.

Bowie, from One Tree Hill, was born with a sig­nif­i­cant heart de­fect that went un­de­tected at birth and had to un­dergo open­heart surgery as he had a 6 mil­lime­tre hole in his heart.

It was four weeks be­fore doc­tors at Star­ship Hos­pi­tal dis­cov­ered Bowie’s con­di­tion.

Au­gust is Heart Kids Aware­ness Month and this year the charity wants to ex­tend fam­ily sup­port pro­grammes na­tion­wide.

Chief ex­ec­u­tive Rob Lut­ter is ad­vo­cat­ing for the in­tro­duc­tion of a life-sav­ing in­ter­ven­tion di­ag­nos­tic tool that will ad­dress the criti- cal sur­vival fac­tor of early in­ter­ven­tion.

‘‘Early in­ter­ven­tion is the key, yet 50 per cent of ba­bies suf­fer­ing a se­ri­ous heart con­di­tion go un­de­tected at birth.’’

‘‘The Pulse Oxime­try Test will quickly and pain­lessly es­tab­lish whether new­borns have a lifethreat­en­ing heart de­fect and we will save lives as a con­se­quence.’’

Sarah Macmil­lan says if this test had been available it would have saved her fam­ily a lot of heartache, stress and tears.

Bowie is now 15 months old and is do­ing great.

‘‘[He’s] such a cool lit­tle dude, crawl­ing ev­ery­where and want­ing to walk. You would look at him and not even know he is a heart baby.’’

Bowie Macmil­lan from One Tree Hill was born with a con­gen­i­tal heart de­fect.

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