Project

Professor Frank Bloomfield
University of Auckland
Reducing inequity through timely detection of critical congenital heart disease
$1,184,577
36 months

Lay summary

Congenital heart defects (CHD) are the most common congenital malformations. If diagnosed late, babies can become extremely unwell with long-term implications for health and neurodevelopment. CHD can be detected before complications arise through a simple non-invasive screening test using pulse oximetry. Some countries have introduced national screening programmes. This project will address whether a national screening programme for CHD should be introduced within the unique New Zealand maternity setting. We will determine the feasibility of universal pulse oximetry screening within New Zealand and will determine: cost-effectiveness; acceptability to parents and their families; impact upon maternity care providers’ work-load; the cost and burden of false-positive and false negative results, and the uptake of screening by maternity health professionals and families. The outcome of the project will be evidence-based recommendations to the Ministry of Health to inform policy and national health care investment.

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