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Korean J Audiol. 2011 Sep;15(2):81-84. English. Original Article.
Kim JH , Lee KB , Koo YC , Hong SA , Lee Y , Son EJ .
Department of Otorhinolaryngology, Yonsei University College of Medicine, Seoul, Korea.

BACKGROUND AND OBJECTIVES: Newborn Hearing Screening (NHS) program aims to identify babies at risk of hearing loss and provide appropriate rehabilitation within the crucial period for language development. The risk of hearing loss in increased in babies discharged from neonatal intensive care unit (NICU) compared to wellbaby nursery. Transient evoked otoacoustic emission (TEOAE) or automated auditory brainstem response tests are utilized. The purpose of this study is to assess the outcome of NHS using TEOAE as initial evaluation method in NICU graduates. SUBJECTS AND METHODS: TEOAE was performed as initial screening method for NHS in NICU neonates born between February 2010 and November 2011. Babies referred from TEOAE were reevaluated with repeated TEOAE or auditory brainstem response. Referral rates were estimated and quality indicators for screening (Joint Committee on Infant Hearing position statement, 2007) were evaluated. RESULTS: Among 149 neonates graduated from NICU, 50 (33.6%) babies failed initial TEOAE ('refer'). A second stage TEOAE testing was performed in 41 (82.0%) of these babies: 35 (85.4%) passed and 6 (14.6%) were referred for diagnostic testing. From 2-stage TEOAE screening program, 6 neonates were referred for diagnostic audiological evaluation: sensorineural hearing loss was identified in 2 babies and 3 babies were lost to follow up. Quality indicators for screening were as follows: 1) 94.0% of all newborn infants admitted to NICU completed screening by 1 month of age, and 2) 4.0% of all newborn infants who fail initial screening and fail any subsequent rescreening before comprehensive audiological evaluation. CONCLUSIONS: Timely and adequate screening of hearing loss is prerequisite for accurate diagnosis and appropriate rehabilitation in infants especially from NICU. Further refinement of the current NHS with additional reliable screening technology is required for more stable and successful screening program.

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