Newborn hearing screening programme outcomes in a research hospital from Turkey

Y Tasci, I I Muderris, S Erkaya, S Altinbas, H Yucel, A Haberal
Child: Care, Health and Development 2010, 36 (3): 317-22

BACKGROUND: Universal neonatal hearing screening programmes are encouraged to define and manage hearing loss in early ages of life. The aim of this study is to introduce our 14-month three-step hearing screening programme results with 16 975 births in Turkey.

METHODS: In healthy neonates, Transient Evoked Otoacoustic Emission (TEOAE) is served as the initial screening in the first day of life. In newborns that did not meet pass criteria TEOAE was repeated in 10-day period. If the second test was 'refer' again, the screening was completed with auditory brainstem response (ABR). Additionally, ABR was performed for the neonates with neonatal intensive care unit (NICU) requirement and at high audiologic risk. Neonates who failed the screening test with ABR were referred for further evaluation.

RESULTS: A total of 15 323 newborns and 1652 NICU infants were tested. The screening coverage was 94.4%; 14 521 neonates (94.7%) passed the first screening step (TEOAE), while 802 (5.2%) neonate failed. In total, 322 (40.1%) of the neonates out of 802 was subjected to the second TEOAE after 10 days have failed and ABR was applied. From the neonates participated the third step (ABR) totalling 1974, 43 (2.17%) of neonates obtained a 'refer' response. Out of these 43 neonates, 17 neonates were (39.5%) NICU infants. From the 43 neonates, 38 cases (88.4%) were found to have hearing impairment. The false-positive rate for first step screening with TEOAE was 4.9%; second step with TEOAE was 1.85% and for ABR was 0.25%.

CONCLUSIONS: It is apparent that three step national hearing screening programme which has been applied for the latest years in Turkey is an accurate and non-invasive method to determine the congenital hearing loss. In the future, screening programmes could be rearranged with two steps as initial with TEOAE and retest with ABR and the coverage of the screening programme can be extended.

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