Objectives To evaluate the continued impact of pulse oximetry screening (POS) in a regional neonatal unit (NNU) and identify trends in screening outcomes in comparison with our previous experience.
Design Retrospective review of admissions between April 2013 and March 2019 (the current study) and comparison with previously published data (the 2014 study).
Patients All infants >34 weeks completed gestation admitted to NNU as a result of positive POS.
Outcome measures Indication for admission, diagnosis, investigations and management.
Results There were 49 375 livebirths and 253 NNU admissions as a result of positive POS (0.5% of livebirths; compared with 0.8% in 2014). 247/253 (97.6%) of those admitted had a significant diagnosis requiring medical intervention (compared with 79% in 2014) and the proportion of healthy babies (with transitional circulation) admitted decreased from 21% to 2.4%.
22 (9%) babies admitted as a result of a positive POS were found to have a previously undiagnosed congenital heart defect (CHD) of which eight were critical CHDs (CCHDs). This accounted for 73% of all undiagnosed CCHD undergoing POS. The antenatal detection rate of CCHD was 75% compared with 46% in 2014. No baby died or collapsed on the postnatal ward during the study period. The proportion of babies with CCHD identified before discharge improved from 94% to 99%.
Conclusions Routine POS, in addition to antenatal screening and postnatal examination, continues to contribute to the improvement of our overall CCHD detection rates. We have demonstrated an overall reduction in the admission of healthy babies and therefore workload following a positive test.
Data availability statement
Data are available on reasonable request. Anonymised raw patient data are available on reasonable request.
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AH and DA are joint first authors.
Contributors AH and DA collated the data, performed the initial analysis, wrote the first version of the manuscript and edited subsequent versions. AS and AKE designed and initiated the study, edited and completed the final version of the manuscript.
Funding The authors have not declared a specific grant for this research from any funding agency in the public, commercial or not-for-profit sectors.
Competing interests None declared.
Provenance and peer review Not commissioned; externally peer reviewed.
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