Neb. lawmakers eye heart screenings for newborns

LINCOLN, Neb. (AP) — Doctors who treat newborns are urging Nebraska lawmakers to support a bill that would require congenital heart screenings as a way to help spot potential health threats.

Dr. Robert Spicer told lawmakers Thursday that the screenings would help physicians identify children who need more rigorous testing.

Spicer says 8 out of every 1,000 children born in the U.S. have a form of congenital heart disease. In many cases the disease doesn't create a serious health risk, but 1.2 of every 1,000 children suffer from a life-threatening form of the disease.

The bill was sponsored by Sen. Jim Smith, of Papillion. The Health and Human Services Committee will decide whether to advance the bill for legislative debate.

©2014 by The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.