Governor stops at Newton Medical Center

| 15 Feb 2012 | 10:15

Visits with first baby in New Jersey to be saved by new law NEWTON — It may have been the day after elections, but Governor Chris Christie was celebrating something else. He made a special visit to Newton Medical Center on Nov. 9 to praise the staff and celebrate the life they saved of two-month old Dylan Gordon. As a direct result it of the pulse oximetry mandate that Christie signed into effect this past June, Dylan Gordon was the first baby in New Jersey to be saved because of this new protocol. New Jersey is the first state in the nation to use pulse oximetry screenings on newborns which is a non-invasive method of determining how much one’s blood is oxygenated. A special infrared sensor is attached to the infant’s finger or wrist that determines whether there is an oxygen deficiency. The test is done about 24 hours after the baby is born. Deficiencies can result in congestive heart failure. New Jersey state law recommends those with a deficiency be immediately clinically assessed and referred to a pediatric cardiologist. The mandatory testing on newborns was implemented on August 31 of 2011in all New Jersey hospitals. Dylan was born on August 30 and was tested on September 1 and showed abnormal results. He was immediately discharged to Morristown Medical Center and diagnosed with critical coarctation of the aorta. Later that same day, he was transferred to Columbia Presbyterian Hospital in New York City where he underwent a successful surgery. Christie reacted to letters that he received from Jo Ann Ritter, a registered nurse at Newton medical Center and Lisa Gordon, Dylan’s mother. Both thanked him for passing the law and putting it into practice. “If you don’t think I read my mail, think again. I read it every night. And I received this letter two weeks ago that Lisa Gordon, Dylan’s mother wrote to me: 'Because of a law that was passed, our son’s life was saved, thank you for passing the law,’” said Christie. “It immediately grabbed my attention. I have four children of my own.” He went on to thank the support of the local government officials that were present, the staff of Newton Medical Center and referred to Dylan as his new friend. “I can’t imagine the stress this family felt but because of the great care they received at Newton Medical Center, Morristown Medical Center and Columbia Presbyterian, Dylan is alive and well,” Christie said. “I want to congratulate Bill and Lisa Gordon. The most precious gift God can give you is a child. And you are going to have Dylan for the rest of your lives.” The governor elaborated about this bi-partisan agreement and gave credit to his Commissioner of Health Mary O’Dowd who was standing next to him at the press conference: “I am really proud that New Jersey is leading the country in doing this, and I have Mary O’Dowd to thank also. We are the first state to require newborns to do this. The evidence is there as we see the dramatic affect on the life of the Gordon’s. It’s an incredible story that can educate other parents as well.”