Email attributed to Curtis Carey, communications director, National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute, May 15, 2013

5:13 pm

Congenital heart defects are the most common type of birth defect. More information is available on the NHLBI website at:


Regarding the statistic you referenced, our experts shared with us that:

From the AHA/AAP Scientific Statement on pulse oximetry screening, they quote a single study (from a birth defects surveillance system), which I’ve attached to this email, that says that the incidence of delayed or missed diagnosis of critical CHD is 7 in 100,000 live births. If there are approximately 4 million live births per year, this would translate into approximately 280 missed or delayed diagnoses of critical CHD per year. They note that because this was from a surveillance study with passive data collection, this probably represents an underestimate.


We hope this information is helpful.



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