Office of Newborn Screening

Healthcare Providers

The goal of CCHD screening of newborns is to identify those with structural heart defects usually associated with hypoxia in the newborn period that could have significant morbidity or mortality early in life with closing of the ductus arteriosus or other physiological changes early in life. Read our CCHD Implementation Timeline and a statement from the Assistant Bureau Chief Ward Jacox.

The success of the Newborn Screening program depends on the coordinated efforts of many health professionals. Medical Home and/or other Healthcare Professionals are generally responsible for: ordering the screening tests for newborn infants in their care, informing parents about the screening tests, and collection and handling of newborn screening specimens. Practitioners, and/or their contracted laboratories, may collect and send specimens for testing. Practitioners, hospitals and laboratories work together to coordinate timely collection and rapid delivery of acceptable newborn screening specimens to the Arizona Public Health Laboratory (State Lab).

Critical Congenital Heart Defects (CCHD)


In October, 2010 the Health and Human Services Advisory Committee on Heritable Disorders in Newborns and Children recommended to Secretary Kathleen Sibelius that CCHD screening become a part of the recommended uniform screening panel (RUSP). In fall 2011, the Secretary supported this recommendation. The American Heart Association, American College of Cardiology, American Academy of Pediatrics and March of Dimes all endorse CCHD screening for newborns.

Dr. Nathan Lepp: An Arizona Pediatrician's perspective on CCHD.

Resources for Families

Mended Little Hearts of Phoenix

Little Hearts, Inc.

Baby’s First Test: CCHD

AZ law and Administrative Code

House Bill 2491

Final rules

Toolkit for Practitioners


Instructions for Completing Forms

Failed Pulse Oximetry Form

Association of Maternal & Child Health Programs
Issue Brief State Newborn Screening and Birth Defects Program Roles in Screening for Critical Congenital Heart Defects (CCHD)
American Academy of Pediatrics
  1. Strategies for Implementing Screening for Critical Congenital Heart Disease. Alex R Kemper, MD et al. Volume 128, Number 5, November, 2011
  2. Role of Pulse Oximetry in Examining Newborns for Congenital Heart Disease: a Scientific Statement from AHA and AAP.William T Mahle et al. Volume 124, Number 2, August, 2009
  3. Policy Statement:Endorsement of Health and Human Services Recommendation for Pulse Oximetry Screening for Critical Congenital Heart Disease.Section on Cardiology and Cardiac Surgery Executive Committee. Volume 129, Number 1, January 1, 2012
  4. Advances in Therapeutics & Technology. Pulse Oximetry Screening for Critical Congenital Heart Disease. Peterson Cm Ailes, Riehlr-Colarusso T, et al.AAP Grand Rounds, Volume 31, Number 5, May 2014
  5. Answers and Resources for Primary Care Pediatricians
Centers for Disease Control and Prevention
Genetics Home Reference
Association of Public Health Laboratories (
The Heart Association
American College of Cardiology
March of Dimes

Support Screening for Critical Congenital Heart Disease (CCHD) as part of the state newborn screening panel

FDA approved pulse oximetry devices

Frequently Asked Questions

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Click on a question below to see the answer.

1. When does screening for CCHD using pulse oximetry start in Arizona?

Although many hospitals adopted CCHD screening as a standard of care beginning in 2013, rules will be officially adopted beginning July 1, 2015 mandating that the physician or person who is required to make a report on the birth order a pulse ox screen and submit results to the Department of Health. For more information on revisions to the law, read House Bill 2491.

2. When should the screen be conducted?

Ideally at 24 hours of life or before discharge from a birth facility, but no later than 48 hours of life.

3. How will I know if the test was performed on my patients?

Pulse Oximetry results should be noted on the discharge summary. Within a few months, the results should also appear on the immunization card just like the hearing screening results are found currently.

4. What do I do if the test wasn’t performed?

Verify with the delivering hospital or midwife for clarification on whether the screening has been completed. It is important that you establish your own protocol for responding to missed screens.

5. How are results sent to the health department?

The bloodspot collection kits have been redesigned to include CCHD (pulse oximetry) results. For failed results a separate form will be faxed from the hospital to ADHS including diagnostic information.

6. Where can I get more information about algorithms, policies, and recommendations?

Additional information is available on the ADHS website at or by following any of the links found on the reverse side of this resource.

Note: Files are PDF format unless otherwise stated.