Mater Dei hospital to screen newborns for cardiac problems / Rene Asmussen

All newborns at Mater Dei Hospital will be screened for heart defects and issues within 48 hours that they are born. The new cardiological screening was announced by the Ministry of Health on Wednesday.

Deputy Prime Minister and Health Minister Chris Fearne said that the new process is expected to get underway within a few weeks. Further Minister Fearne explained that the screening would determine whether the newborn has cardiac issues as well as it will determine its severity. Such early detection would allow doctors to administer the necessary treatment at an early stage.

Every year, around 4,000 babies are born at Mater Dei Hospital, of which 30 to 35 newborns are found to have cardiac problems. Many such cardiac problems are identified and treated accordingly while others go undetected with symptoms emerging only days later.