Pulse oximetry backed for all newborns

Pulse oximetry offers a cheap, non-invasive way to pick up potentially life threatening heart defects in newborns, and should be adopted universally, researchers say.

Using the largest data set so far, researchers reported Wednesday that pulse oximetry was 99.9% specific for detecting congenital cardiac abnormalities, making it suitable as a universal screening test.

The test had a very low false positive rate of just 0.14%, and this figure dropped even further when babies were tested more than 24 hours after birth, the researchers