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Auditory screening for newborns can be successful, UT Southwestern researchers report

DALLAS Jan. 27, 2005 Universal screening of newborns' hearing at large public hospitals, which annually deliver tens of thousands of babies, can be done more effectively when infants are not only tested four hours after birth as required by many states but also by rescreening those with a suspected problem before discharge and, if necessary, retesting infants at 10 days old, UT Southwestern Medical Center researchers reported.

A four-year study at Parkland Memorial Hospital, published in the January edition of the Journal of Pediatrics, showed that rescreening infants who fail the Universal Newborn Hearing Screening (UNHS), given four hours after birth, reduces the number of false positives and that providing outpatient retesting at the birth hospital improves the number who returned for follow-up.

"Our study demonstrates that Universal Newborn Hearing Screening can be successfully implemented in a public hospital with a larger number of annual births than many U.S. states and territories, including Rhode Island, New Hampshire, the Virgin Islands, and Guam," said Dr. Angela Shoup, assistant professor of otolaryngology head and neck surgery, who leads UT Southwestern's communicative and vestibular disorders program.

Doctors at Parkland UT Southwestern faculty physicians and medical residents deliver nearly 17,000 babies a year, more than any other U.S. hospital. Selective hearing screening for high-risk and neonatal intensive care unit newborns has been conducted since 1986. Universal screening of all neonates was begun in 1999. Babies who do not initially pass are rescreened by technicians before being discharged from the hospital. Parents of babies who still show signs of impairment are instructed to bring them back to Parkland as outpatients to be retested 10 to 12 days after discharge. Only those who do not pass again are referred for diagnostic evaluation.

"Newborns may not pass the initial hearing screening for a v
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Contact: Kara Lenocker
kara.lenocker@utsouthwestern.edu
214-648-3404
UT Southwestern Medical Center
27-Jan-2005


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