SAN ANTONIO -- The American Heart Association wants the Texas legislature to pass a law that requires all newborn babies to undergo a certain screening before they leave a birthing facility.
This screening, called pulse oximetry, is a test that indicates how well the heart of a newborn is functioning.
"It tests their oxygen levels, so if a child has low oxygen levels then there is an indication that something may be wrong with their heart, " said Lisa Cruz with the American Heart Association.
Cruz tells News 4 the pulse oximetry screening is already done at some hospitals, but not everywhere.
"Heart defects are the leading cause of death among children with birth defects and so we're obviously trying to change that statistic, " added Cru
Curtis Popp said the pulse oximetry screening saved his son Christian's life. "Christian was born with congenital heart disease," said Popp.
Christian is an active three year old, but he wasn't always as healthy. Popp told News 4 the oxygen and blood from his sons lungs wasn't circulating through his body.
"He had surgery at 16 days old, " added Popp.
The American Heart Association says pulse oximetry is a very simple screening where a small probe is attached to a child's foot or finger.
"We want children to have a fighting chance before they leave the hospital, " said Cruz.
The American Heart Association wants parents to be aware of the screening, and the legislation that's out there to support it.
Christian's parents say their son is living proof that one small screening makes all the difference.
"He's been doing great. I mean, we've been really blessed, " added Popp.