A person’s oxygen saturation are at certain levels that fluctuate depending on whether the heart is functioning normally. A Cass County legislator says there’s an easy way to prevent infant deaths if those levels are checked before they’re released from the hospital.

If his bill passes, Chloe’s Law would be named for a little girl in Cass County who almost died from congestive heart failure because doctors didn’t realize she had oxygen toxicity. Representative Rick Brattin says the state should make testing mandatory.

Brattin says some hospitals in the Kansas City area have already started requiring the screening be done before newborns are released, and it’s already common practice for adults.

He says a pulse oximentry screening is done with a light … there’s no blood drawn and every hospital already has the devices to perform the screening, so there’s no cost incurred. Adults undergoing surgery are routinely checked for blood oxygen levels.

No one opposed the measure; The American Heart Association spoke in favor of the bill.

U.S. Health and Human Services Director Kathleen Sebelius made the recommendation last fall that all states require a pulse oximetry reading on newborns to detect congenital heart diseases, the number one cause of death for newborns.