'Babies Go Red' for heart legislation anniversary - FOX13 News, WHBQ FOX 13

'Babies Go Red' for heart legislation anniversary

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    Friday, October 4 2013 3:43 PM EDT2013-10-04 19:43:45 GMT
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GERMANTOWN, Tenn. (FOX13) -

Newborn Steven Glenn's blue beanie was traded in for a red one on Friday.

It's in honor of the American Heart Association's "Wear Red Day" and the one year anniversary of Tennessee passing legislation mandating all newborns receive a congenital heart defect screening.

MORE: Go RED to fight against heart disease

Steven's mother Kenya Glenn is grateful for the legislation: Her mother-in-law has heart health concerns and during her pregnancy doctors noticed an arrhythmia in Steven's heart.

"Early detection with anything is best," she said, "Sometimes people overlook it, they don't know, it's detected later on down the line and that's when the emotions are higher. Then the questions come out, ‘Well, why didn't you test us earlier?'"

The screening, that Kenya said is non-invasive, is much like the version for adults where a small monitor is placed on the infant's finger or even toe.

"It gives us a reading of the oxygen level in their blood and there's certain things we go by and if they are low then we notify their pediatrician who then calls in a cardiologist," said Judy Lott, Clinical Director of Methodist Germantown's Newborn Nursery.

The tests are working, according to the hospital staff. In the year since the legislation passed, Methodist Germantown Hospital is already noticing improvement in identifying newborn heart concerns.

"We have identified some and it's great to see that really happening and they can get the connections they need," said Lott.

Friday's activities for "Wear Red Day" on the day of her son was born gave birth to inspiration for Kenya to advocate heart health.

"I give my heart to anybody and do whatever I can to help," said Kenya, "I definitely appreciate Tennessee passing a law like this. It's wonderful. It's definitely something I hope the other states jump on board if they haven't already."

Because Steven was the first baby born at Methodist Germantown during Wear Red Day, at just after 1 a.m., Kenya received a gift basket with goodies including a CPR training kit and newborn photo shoot.

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