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Screening for Hearing Loss among High Risk Neonates? Experience from A Tertiary Care Center.

Early detection of hearing loss by screening and appropriate intervention is critical for development of speech, language and cognition. Indian data regarding screening for hearing loss among high risk neonates is limited and hence this study.

Material and methods: This descriptive study included all high risk neonates admitted to our tertiary care NICU over 2 years from January 2012 to December 2013. All the high risk neonates were evaluated with Transient evoked Otoacoustic emission (TEOAE). Automated Auditory Brainstem Response (AABR) was done at three months of age for those neonates who failed in the TEOAE screening. Infants with hearing loss were referred for detailed evaluation and appropriate rehabilitation.

Results:Out of 1537 high risk neonates, 5.9% had persistent failure with OAE test. Extreme low birth weight, extreme prematurity, mechanical ventilation and perinatal asphyxia were the predominant risk factors associated with hearing loss. OAE showed 92% specificity in comparison to AABR. Conclusion: OAE is safe and effective method of screening for hearing among high risk neonates.

Author(s): Prasad Kumar, Adhisivam B, Vishnu Bhat B, Bharathi B, Febi Francis, Nivedita Mondal