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J Pediatr. 1991 Jan;118(1):1-7.

Status of cochlear implantation in children. American Academy of Otolaryngology-Head and Neck Surgery Subcommittee on Cochlear implants.

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Yale University School of Medicine, Section of Otolaryngology, New Haven, CT 06510.


The cochlear implant is a medical device, part of which is placed surgically, that uses electrical stimulation to provide hearing. For almost a decade, investigational studies have been ongoing to define its safety and efficacy in profoundly deaf children. During this period, more than 500 children aged 2 through 17 years have been implanted with either a single-electrode or multielectrode device. Extensive auditory, speech, educational, and psychologic testing has been performed before and after implantation. Results show that the cochlear implant provides auditory detection over much of the speech signal. Compared with the preimplant period, there is significant improvement in auditory discrimination and speech production skills. Limited open-set word and sentence recognition is possible for at least some children. Complications with the device have been minimal. The cochlear implant can provide sound to deaf children unable to benefit from hearing aids. The complex assessment, rehabilitation, and parent counseling should be performed by centers with the multidisciplinary staffs necessary to provide effective care for patients with this specialized auditory prosthesis.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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