Volume 5, Issue 1 (September 2007)                   Iranian Rehabilitation Journal 2007, 5(1): 8-11 | Back to browse issues page

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1- University of Social Welfare and Rehabilitation Sciences, Tehran, Iran.
Abstract:   (8836 Views)

Objectives: In September 2002 University of Social Welfare & Rehabilitation Sciences established a pilot universal newborn hearing screening program in two crowded maternity hospital in Tehran. Our objective was to assess the feasibility of implementing universal newborn hearing screening in IRAN.

Methods: Between September 2002 and March 2004 a total of 7718 newborns were screened for hearing loss prior to discharge from the wellborn nursery at Milad and Hedayat Hospitals. The average age of the subjects at the initial Screening test was 24 hours. The program employed a three-stage hearing screening protocol using transient evoked otoacoustic emissions (TEOAE) screening with referral for diagnostic auditory brainstem response assessment.

Results: The overall pass rate at the time of hospital discharge was 92.3%, thus achieving an acceptable referral rate of 7.7% for diagnostic audiological assessments. Nine newborns were identified with permanent unilateral hearing impairment. Newborns identified with bilateral hearing loss were immediately referred to the SABA center for hearing aid assessment and fitting. Newborns as young as 5 weeks old were successfully fitted with hearing instruments and enrolled in the family center early intervention program at the SABA center.

Discussion: The frequency of bilateral congenital hearing loss requiring amplification in this population is shown to be approximately 0.001 newborns. This finding is consistent with previous researches, which have indicated hearing loss to be the most frequently occurring birth defect. Universal newborn hearing screening using TEOAEs proved to be a cost effective and feasible method of identifying congenital hearing loss in IRAN. The existence of many successful screening programs worldwide and the availability of fast, objective, reliable and inexpensive hearing screening procedures mean that universal neonatal hearing screening is becoming one of the standards of care.

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Article type: Original Research Articles |
Received: 2007/06/3 | Accepted: 2007/07/13 | Published: 2007/09/1

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