Gov. Bob McDonnell (R) on Friday established a workgroup to develop a plan to screen babies born in Virginia for a life–threatening condition called critical congenital heart disease.
The condition represents a group of severe clinical outcomes caused by congenital heart defects that result in abnormal blood flow and oxygen deprivation. These defects require intervention within the first year of life and delayed diagnosis can result in death.
In Virginia, almost four in 1,000 newborns are diagnosed each year with one of the defects causing the condition.
Del. Patrick Hope (D-Arlington) initiated the bill that led to the workgroup.
“It’s a rare occasion where a legislator can be part of a policy that can do so much to save lives,’’ he said.