Red Hats for Newborns at Mahaska Health Partnership in February
MAHASKA COUNTY – In conjunction with the American Heart Association, Mahaska Health Partnership is giving babies born in February red knitted hats. The hats serve as a reminder for parents regarding the importance of heart health and newborn heart screenings.
As part of the Little Hats, Big Hearts campaign, the American Heart Association donated knitted red hats to hospitals throughout the country for babies born during the month of February. According to the American Heart Association, approximately 40,000 babies are born each year with a congenital heart defect, but better diagnosis and treatment has allowed more children to reach adulthood.
“It’s important for newborns to get a congenital heart disease screening before leaving the hospital so we can help detect any issues and address them immediately,” Family Practice with Obstetrics Physician Shawn Richmond, MD, explained. “These hats are a great reminder to parents not only for their baby, but to also take care of their own hearts.”
Since heart problems are the most common type of birth defect, it’s important to make sure all babies are screened before going home. “At MHP, we perform a pulse oximetry test on each newborn to check oxygen levels,” Dr. Richmond shared. “It’s a painless test that checks their oxygen levels through their hand and foot. Low oxygen levels can be a sign of a congenital heart defect, and this test may tell us before baby becomes sick. If their levels are low, we will perform further testing to figure out the cause and best treatment.”
Not only is heart health important for newborns, but parents need to consider theirs too. “Many conditions such as high blood pressure and cholesterol can go undetected for years,” Dr. Richmond said. “With a newborn at home, it’s especially important for parents to take care of themselves with regular visits to their primary care provider and screenings to ensure their health for years to come.”
When it comes to heart health screenings, Dr. Richmond recommends discussing your health with your primary care provider. “Nobody is perfectly healthy and we all have something to work on,” Dr. Richmond expanded. “Yearly physicals are a great opportunity to discuss ways you can improve your overall health.”
Shawn Richmond, MD, is a Family Practice and Obstetrical Physician with the MHP Medical Group. He is well known for the care and concern he shows patients during their pregnancy and as a family grows. He treats patients of all ages, truly embodying what is means to be a physician in family practice. To schedule an appointment with Dr. Richmond, call 641.672.3360.
Mahaska Health Partnership, located in Oskaloosa, is a non-profit health system accredited by the Joint Commission. It is guided by its mission to provide exceptional customer service and health improvement, linking the science of medicine with the humanity of compassionate care. For more information about how Mahaska Health Partnership is making healthcare personal, visit mahaskahealth.org.