Princess Margaret Hospital for Children,
|Phone||(08) 9340 8366|
The WA Newborn Hearing Screening Program achieved state-wide coverage in 2010 and now screens in public, private, metropolitan and regional maternity services across WA.
1-2 babies in every 1,000 are born with a hearing loss in both ears (bilateral hearing loss).
Newborn screening of babies enables hearing loss to be identified and managed quickly.
Your baby’s hearing will be screened by Automated Auditory Brainstem Response (AABR). Three separate leads are placed on your baby’s forehead, back of the neck and behind the shoulder using adhesive pads.
A small earphone ‘cup’ is placed over your baby’s ears. This makes a sound, and the leads measure the response from your baby’s ears to that sound.
The screen doesn’t hurt your baby in any way.
Screening may be done anytime after your baby is 12 hours old. If your baby misses the hearing screen, please contact your birth hospital.
The hearing screen measures your baby's hearing response at the time of the screen only. The results will be discussed with you straight after the screen and noted in your baby’s personal health record book.
In some babies an irregular result may occur due to something other than deafness such as:
If there is any concern about the results, a follow-up screen will be recommended.
A few rare causes of hearing loss are not picked up by the standard hearing screen. With some conditions, a baby's hearing may be normal at birth but gradually worsen over time.
Children with any of the risk factors listed below are reviewed by a paediatric audiologist between 8 and 12 months old:
If your baby does have one of the above-mentioned risk factors, please inform the person who is performing the hearing screen.
Please contact your GP, child health nurse or paediatrician if at any time you have any concerns about your child's hearing ability or language development.
Please use these 'milestones' in hearing development to monitor your baby's hearing as they grow:
Statistics on newborn hearing screening can be accessed through the state office. Email: firstname.lastname@example.org