An extended newborn critical congenital heart disease (CCHD) screening program using oximetry has been implemented in Taipei, Taiwan since April 2014. This study was conducted to investigate the test accuracy and efficiency of this screening protocol.
This study analyzed data from 30 birthing facilities representing 87.9% of live births in Taipei. Positive screening was defined as oxygen saturation <95% in either extremity or a preductal-postductal oxygen saturation difference of >3%. This study cohort was used to retrospectively estimate outcomes on the basis of different CCHD screening protocols.
During the study period, 93 058 of 94 204 (98.8%) infants who had no prenatal suspicion were screened. The referral rate was 0.17% (156/93 058), and up to 90% of test-positive infants were referred within 48 hours of life. Forty-two CCHD cases without prenatal suspicion were detected and 97.6% were diagnosed within 72 hours of life. Of the screened newborns, 4 CCHD cases passed the screening. The false positive and false negative rates were 0.12% and 0.04%, respectively. In addition, applying our database to Spanish and updated American Academy of Pediatrics screening strategies led to more CCHD case detection.
The Taipei protocol provided an efficient and effective screening referral system in a community setting. For optimal efficiency, we advocated the updated American Academy of Pediatrics algorithm/Spanish recommendation with a modification of immediate referral if oxygen saturation ≤90% in either extremity. The updated protocol would be practicable for nationwide screening in Taiwan and could also be applied to other regions with similar medical care systems.