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Teen delivers important message to Florida lawmakers

3:39 PM, Apr 5, 2013   |    comments
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TALLAHASSEE, Fla. -- Thirteen-year-old Sophie Phillips is a very motivated young lady leading a campaign to try to save babies with heart defects.

The Port St. Lucie teen is walking the halls of the Capitol, visiting lawmakers and telling them about a new test for newborns.

It's called a Pulse Oximetry screening.

The test is fast, cheap and painless, and can detect congenital heart defects.

Some hospitals are already using it. Proposed legislation would require all hospitals to administer the test to newborns.

Sophie survived a congenital heart defect herself, but said too many babies are dying because a heart defect is not detected at birth.

"We need to save these kids' lives. We need these kids to get the proper treatment before they leave the hospitals so that way they can go on and live normal lives like your average, everyday people."

Supporters of the Pulse Oximetry screening say undetected heart defects can lead to avoidable health complications and medical expenses, or even worse, the death of an infant.

Similar legislation did not get through the Legislature last year, but Sophie hopes she can convince lawmakers of the need for the test.

First Coast News

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