universal newborn hearing screening


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universal newborn hearing screening

Abbreviation: UNHS
A public health effort to identify infants born with impaired hearing at the earliest possible age, e.g., before 6 months). UNHS has been implemented to identify those infants whose hearing loss is more than 40 decibels below the mean, i.e., those infants with the greatest risk of impaired speech acquisition in childhood. Children with profound hearing loss are at risk for poor achievement in school and diminished success in work as adults.
See also: screening
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And earlier this year the AAP issued a position statement on universal newborn hearing screening that mirrors the recommendation from the joint committee.
Universal newborn hearing screening using transient evoked otoacoustic emissions is feasible in a community hospital.
(11) A similar survey in the public health sector of South Africa indicated that 7.5% of public birthing hospitals provide some form of newborn hearing screening and less than 1% offer universal newborn hearing screening. (12) Screening in the private sector is more comprehensive, with 53% institutions with obstetric units offering some form of newborn hearing screening but only 14% offering true universal hearing screening.
Advocates of universal newborn hearing screening have won new support from the American Academy of Pediatrics.
This report presents findings from MADDSP for 1991-1993 (the most recent years for which data were available) about the age of diagnosis of serious bilateral hearing impairment among children born from 1981 through 1990 and highlights the public health intervention opportunity of universal newborn hearing screening programs for the earlier identification of and intervention for children with hearing impairment.
A recent survey suggested that 53% of private hospitals offer some form of newborn hearing screening, and only 15% offer true universal newborn hearing screening. [2] In comparison, an earlier study revealed that only 7.5% of public hospitals in SA had implemented some form of newborn hearing screening.
Universal newborn hearing screening should be the standard of care, and it is feasible, cost effective, and necessary.

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