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Trying to pass bill on Pulse Oximetry for newbornsSubmitted: 08/02/2013
Story By Shardaa Gray


Photos By Shardaa Gray

RHINELANDER - A high tech tool can help newborns with birth defects.

Many Wisconsin hospitals have it.

But not all of them do.

That's why State Senator Jerry Petrowski is pushing for a bill so all of them have one.

Pulse oximetry is a non-invasive method that monitors oxygen levels.

For newborns, it can detect if the child has heart disease.

The Centers For Disease Control says 30 percent of infant deaths are due to heart defects.

"I just really believe people that have children understand how devastating it can be to lose a child," said Senator Petrowski.

"When you can find out there is a problem and technology is there to fix it, that's the route we should go."

The cost of screening is four dollars per infant.

Petrowski hasn't experienced newborn heart problems in his family.

But he has friends who have.

"Sometimes they don't know about it until something happens to the child. So with that information ahead of time, medical technology is great," Petrowski said.

"It's come so far. We can fix some of the problems that are out there."

Petrowski says they'll be back on the floor in September.

The tougest part is to get this bill moved through Committee.

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During cold snaps like this week, dog sled drivers can't pass up an opportunity to take the dogs out running—dog sledding or skijoring.

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"It was often a sled driver with a team who had maybe 30, 40, 50 dogs and one dog wouldn't fit the team anymore or teams so we would get it," said McGrath.

For Slone and McGrath, taking in dogs started more than 20 years ago.

"Well, I brought home a pup from Alaska because I had worked up there doing some consulting work," said Slone. "My idea was to skijor, which was a fairly new thing in 1990 in the U.S….And then I realized dogs don't like to run alone, so I got another dog….and then I got another dog."

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