Last year there were over 4 million live births in the United States. Approximately 38,000 of those births took place in my home state of Iowa. Less than eighty of them occurred at Greene County Medical Center in the town of Jefferson.
Eighty babies out of 4 million...
You're probably wondering where the heck I'm going with this. I promise there's a point!
A few months back I got an email from the mother of a friend of ours from pharmacy school. She has been following our story here on Little Miss Ritchie since Charlotte earned her wings in May 2011 and remembered at one point reading a post that I had written about pulse oximetry screening in newborns. In her email she asked if I had any evidence-based references that she could take to her hospital's OB meeting in May as her was of helping us honor Charlotte's memory. I gladly sent some information her way and quite honestly, hadn't thought of it since.
Today I opened my email inbox and found the following update...
Hi Kristen and Matt,
This week the Pediatric docs at Greene County Medical Center approved PulseOx Screenings on all neonates here at our tiny hospital. Back in May I provided them the article (from you) stating that this simple non-invasive act can pick up undetected heart defects. Even though we deliver less than 80 babies per year here, each will have the added pulse-ox screening. Your outreach in memory of Charlotte is making a difference.
Best wishes to all,
Needless to say, I was a mess of tears (happy tears) by the time I got to the end of the message. What an overwhelming feeling to know that our little girl is helping save lives. It doesn't matter if it's one baby screened or one thousand...the important thing is that it's being done!
Thank you, Bonnie for taking this on your shoulders and advocating for the babies who enter the world at Greene County Medical Center in Jefferson, IA. They may be small in numbers, but they are lucky to be born in a place that recognizes the importance of this life saving test!