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A Journal on Otorhinolaryngology, Head and Neck Surgery,
Plastic Reconstructive Surgery, Otoneurosurgery
Indexed/Abstracted in: EMBASE, Scopus
Otorinolaringologia 2015 December;65(4):97-101
Newborn hearing screening program: our experience
Eibenstein A. 1, Saccoccio A. 1, Di Rubbo V. 1, Rosati N. 2, Varakliotis T. 1, Tizio A. 1, Cisternino S. 1
1 Department of Applied Clinical Sciences and Biotechnology, University of L’Aquila, L’Aquila, Italy;
2 Department of Otorhinolaryngology, Casa di Cura Città di Roma, Rome, Italy
AIM: Hearing loss (HL) is one of the most widespread congenital disorders, with a ratio of 1-3 per 1000 live births. Researchers pay particular attention to deafness preverbal problems and the need of an early diagnosis on newborn population, as well as the need of implemented of neonatal hearing screening programs, both at a national and regional level. For these reasons, in the region of Latium a screening program has been made compulsory — with DGR n. 115/2012 “action line screening universal newborn hearing” — in all the birth centers, entrusting it to a working group to draft an operational document (Determinations N°. B02606/2012 and B04272/2012). This paper compares the database results of our screening center before and after the implementation of the Regional Law, with the aim to determine the advantages and flaws of the screening program as it is planned and applied in the region of Latium.
METHODS: The study was conducted by the service of otorhinolaryngology of “Casa di Cura Città di Roma”. Transiently-evoked otoacoustic emissions (TEAOE) were evaluated bilaterally in in 4759 newborn babies, from December 2007 to June 2012, and with the regional law applied for the the compulsory hearing screening, in 3387 newborn babies, from May 2013 to November 2014.
RESULTS: In our neonatology department screened 3387 babies were screened out of a total of 3466 newborn babies (97.7%) since the screening became mandatory. In the past (from December 2007 to June 2012) when the screening was only recommended, just 4759 babies were screened out of a total of 10,344 (46%).
CONCLUSION: With the common goal of achieving the excellence regional level, the clinical researchers aim to build a national “register of deafness” to better coordinate the development of screening centers all over the nation. It will also allow proper diagnosis and adequate treatment for all newborn babies, avoiding expensive trips to all advanced regions. This is another point that must be evaluated with the objective to perform a complete audiologic evaluation in all newborn babies with risk factors for HL or pathologic TEOAE.