Tuesday, January 10, 2012

pumped!

Now that our Make a Wish trip is over, the holidays are over, birthdays are over, and we're back in our groove over here in the Bent household, I have more time to dedicate again to spreading CHD awareness. Ever since Natalie was diagnosed almost 5 years ago, the passion to spread awareness of heart condition flourished. Little did I know that there was a big army of survivors and loved ones of survivors (and even health care officials and organizations) behind me.
But still, there hasn't been enough.
There's never enough awareness of the #1 birth defect. Still to this day, I have people asking what a CHD is. I love when people ask why Natalie has a chest scar, for example. I encourage the questions and c'mon we all love talking about our own kids. Right?
I also know that Natalie's heart defect has a great chance of being detected before ever coming home from the hospital after being born. With every heart checkup and pediatrician visit she has, Natalie's "pulse ox" is taken: it's the use of a pulse oximeter to measure how much saturation of oxygen she has in her blood:
Many nowadays are digital and some look like cloth band aids that wrap around the finger. If you've had a child born in a hospital, chances are, you the mom, had one wrapped around YOUR finger while in labor. ; )

In addition to spreading more awareness about heart defects, I am passionate about spreading awareness about the pulse ox test in my state of Colorado. This simple test, if used on a baby before they leave the hospital to go home, could help save lives. If a is born and the next day they are tested and have an oxygen saturation of say 92%, that's a red flag to see if the heart is healthy. There are painless tests called EKGs to help measure the electrical activity of the heart and also Echocardiograms- an ultrasound of the heart which can help detect if there is a malformation. It gets the ball rolling in the right direction.
In Natalie's case, her oxygen was in the low 90s after birth which very well could have had her detected sooner than at almost 3 weeks old. 
Sadly, too many little babies pass away once they go home from the hospital due to an undetected heart condition. If you have never read Cora's story..you just have to:



Cora has inspired so many people. Her mom has done a beautiful job as an advocate for CHD awareness  and is who has made me feel so passionate about babies being tested with a pulse oximeter after birth. With Congenital Heart Defect Awareness Week coming up less than a month, I'll post more information on this blog about how you can help! I'll also let you know when I update the tabs right below the blog header. I want to include more information so everyone can help out and seriously, helping out is EASY. Sometimes, all it takes is an extra email, letter, quick phone call, or even just telling one person about how you heard about CHDs. 

Much more to come so stay tuned!
I have a wiggly, giggly, 4 year old teenager to go run after..

1 comment:

Becca said...

The only reason that they caught Caden's chd was bc he had a pulse ox . . . I want to raise awareess about that too (I even told the Glamour-folks about that, but they didnt include it on the voting page . . . maybe if I win?) :-)