Implementation and results of bedside hearing screening with automated auditory brainstem response in the neonatal intensive care unit

Acta Pediatrica, 05/24/2012

Smets K et al. – Neonatal hearing screening with automated auditory brainstem response can be easily performed by the bedside nurse in the neonatal intensive care unit even in premature babies before 34 weeks postmenstrual age. A ‘pass’ result can be obtained in almost 80% of them; a ‘refer’ result at that age, however, must be interpreted cautiously, as false ‘refer’ occurred in 5/12 of these infants.

Methods

  • Retrospective review of charts of 2074 newborns admitted over a 4 year period.

Results

  • 1824 newborns (88%) were screened.
  • A ‘pass’ result was obtained in 1761 patients (96,5%).
  • From 63 infants with ‘refer’, 40 were tested with auditory brainstem response: in 28 hearing loss was confirmed.
  • 309 neonates were screened before postmenstrual age 34 weeks: 78% succesfully passed the first test.
  • Sixty-seven infants with ‘refer’ at the first test before postmenstrual age 34 weeks were re-evaluated: 48 had normal hearing tests, 24 of whom still younger than 34 weeks.
  • For 12 of 19 infants with ‘refer’ before 34 weeks, follow-up was available: in 7 hearing loss was confirmed.

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