New-Born Hearing Screening Program

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New-Born Hearing Screening Programme (NHSP)

The early identification of hearing loss is known to be important for a child’s development. We, at MicroCare ENT Hospital started NHSP with an aim to identify all children born with moderate to profound permanent bilateral deafness within 4-5 weeks of birth and to ensure the provision of safe, high quality age-appropriate assessments and world class support for hearing impaired children and their families.

When is hearing screening offered?

The screening process should be completed as far as possible prior to discharge while the baby is in hospital. If not possible before the discharge, appointment can be given at the clinic.

All parents of new-borns should:

  • be offered a hearing screen for their child within 2 weeks of birth
  • should receive information about the screen
  • The first diagnostic assessment is done around the age of 4 weeks. Assessment should be completed by 3 months of age (NHSP standard).

Is screening appropriate?

All babies are candidates for the hearing screening and for full (ABR) audiological assessment within 4 weeks. It is the responsibility of the paediatrician and obstetrician to discuss this with the family.

Babies who have recovered from confirmed or suspected bacterial meningitis should be referred to audiology for full (ABR) assessment within 4 weeks of discharge. It is the responsibility of the paediatrician to refer such babies.

What tests are done on the baby?

The initial test is AOAE (Automated Otoacoustic Emissions) unless this is considered inappropriate due to the presence of obvious debris or fluid in one or both ear canals and the baby is due to be discharged soon i.e. before the ear canals can reasonably be expected to clear. In this case the AABR may be used as the initial test.

AABR (Automated Auditory Brainstem Response) The AABR is carried out on both ears unless this is considered inappropriate.

These are the world standard procedures and policies adapted by Microcare ENT Hospital for your care.