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Public Health Rep. 2010 Mar-Apr;125(2):199-207.

Newborn hearing screening and follow-up: are children receiving recommended services?

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centers for Disease Control and Prevention, National Center on Birth Defects and Developmental Disabilities, Atlanta, GA 30333, USA.



Newborn hearing screening programs have been implemented by all 50 states and most U.S. territories to detect hearing loss in infants and prevent delays in speech, language, and social and emotional development. To monitor progress toward national goals, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) collects data from state and territorial programs. This article summarizes findings from the CDC Early Hearing Detection and Intervention (EHDI) Hearing Screening and Follow-up Survey (HSFS) and provides a summary of recent efforts to identify infants with hearing loss in the U.S.


The HSFS was sent to representatives of U.S. EHDI programs to gather aggregate screening, diagnostic, intervention, and demographic data for 2005 and 2006. We analyzed these data to evaluate progress toward national goals.


In 2005 and 2006, more than 90% of infants were screened for hearing loss. Of these infants, 2% in both years did not pass their final screening. Out of those not passing the final screening, approximately two-thirds were not documented as having a diagnostic finding. In both years, the reason reported for the majority of infants was loss to follow-up/loss to documentation (LFU/LTD). Although the majority of infants with permanent hearing loss were receiving intervention, more than 30% were classified as LFU/LTD and could not be documented as receiving intervention services.


The HSFS enables the collection of more complete data that highlight the progress in screening infants for hearing loss. However, data indicate improvements are needed to reduce LFU/LTD and meet the national benchmarks.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]
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