Adapted protocol for pulse oximetry screening for congenital heart defects in a country with homebirths

Eur J Pediatr. 2015 Jan;174(1):129-32. doi: 10.1007/s00431-014-2371-x. Epub 2014 Jul 4.


Pulse oximetry has been recommended for neonatal screening for critical congenital heart defects (CCHD) and is now performed in several countries where most births take place in hospital. However, there is a wide variation in perinatal care in European countries, and studies are now recommended to determine the accuracy and cost-effectiveness of CCHD screening in individual countries. In the Netherlands, a large part of births are supervised by a community-based midwife, at home or at policlinics. A screening protocol has been developed to fit into the Dutch perinatal setting, and also has the potential to increase safety in homebirths.

Conclusion: the provided protocol might be useful for other countries that are planning to implement CCHD screening after homebirths or early discharge from hospital.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Heart Defects, Congenital / diagnosis*
  • Home Childbirth*
  • Humans
  • Infant, Newborn
  • Neonatal Screening*
  • Netherlands
  • Oximetry / standards*
  • Perinatal Care / standards