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Arch Dis Child. 1991 Oct;66(10 Spec No):1130-5.

Neonatal at risk screening and the identification of deafness.

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  • 1Waltham Forest Health Authority, London.


From a cohort of 10,686 live births, 322 (3%) were identified as being at risk of a hearing impairment defined as moderate, or worse. These neonates were screened by measurement of auditory brainstem responses. The neonatal at risk screening programme was effective in terms of both yield and cost. The mean age at which hearing aids were fitted was 6 months in the children identified by the neonatal screen. Such a programme is both practicable and useful in a district general hospital. The yield from the neonatal programme was, however, only 43% of the total number of deaf children eventually identified from the cohort. The need to identify more deaf children by a sensitive infant distraction test screening programme remains.

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