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Little Hats, Big Hearts At Aurora Healthcare Birthing Centers

February is American Heart Month, and Aurora Health Care is working with the American Heart Association again this year on Little Hats, Big Hearts – a campaign to raise awareness about congenital heart defects. Every baby born at an Aurora Health Care Birthing Center in February will receive a hand-knit red hat.

The Little Hats, Big HeartsTM program is meant to raise awareness of heart disease, the number one killer of Americans, and congenital heart defects, the most common type of birth defect in the country.

Registered Nurse Dawn Terpstra brought the campaign to the Milwaukee area last year and was back on the CBS 58 News at 4 recently to get the word out about its return..

This time she emphasized the importance of heart screenings.

Newborn babies receive multiple screenings at birth because even if a baby looks healthy, that doesn’t mean there aren’t underlying health conditions.

Newborn screening using pulse oximetry can identify some infants with a critical congenitive heart defect (CCHD) before they show signs of the condition. Once identified, babies with a CCHD can be seen by cardiologists and can receive special care and treatment that can prevent disability and death early in life. 

All of these screenings help tell the doctor if more testing or intervention is needed. Without this, the problem may persist and become more severe or life threatening if not identified and treated.

Lori Craig of the American Heart Association appeared with Nurse Terpstra about the challenges the organization faces in getting people to their doctors so they can prevent heart disease.

A segment of the broadcast is attached to this story.

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