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Year : 2015  |  Volume : 2  |  Issue : 2  |  Page : 54-58

Results of the first universal newborn hearing screening in Algeria

Department of ENT, Bejaia University Hospital, Bejaia, Algeria

Correspondence Address:
Farid Boudjenah
ENT Department of Bejaia University Hospital, Bejaia, Algeria, Service ORL de l'Hopital Franz Fanon de Bejaia, Bejaia, 06000
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None

DOI: 10.4103/2314-8667.171521

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Introduction Hearing loss is the most common congenital pathology at birth. Its prevalence increases during the infant period, especially in children at risk. The application of hearing screening in three stages with follow-up of children at risk of developing hearing loss allows to optimize the screening. Goals The aim of this study was to evaluate the prevalence of hearing loss in the neonatal population and identify newborns at risk and to investigate the best way to support infants with such disability from screening to rehabilitation. Materials and methods This prospective study was conducted over a period of 22 months from June 2011 to March 2013, using a systematic screening for deafness in a high-birth-level maternity unit. Results Over a period of 22 months, 17 912 live newborn were born in the maternity ward. The application of screening for deafness at birth allowed us to screen 15 382 newborns, with a coverage rate of 85.9%. We chose a three-stage screening protocol. In the first stage, 15 382 newborns were screened by means of analysis of distortion product of otoacoustic emissions (DPOAE). The screening was negative (presence of DPOAE and absence of hearing loss) in 13 467 newborns, and it was positive (absence of DPOAE and a possibility of hearing loss) for 1915 newborns who were addressed to the second stage of the screening protocol for the analysis of DPOAE again after 1 month of birth. In this second stage of screening, 1516 infants were screened in the ENT Department and 399 infants were lost to follow-up. After the second stage of the screening, 76 infants were addressed to the third stage of the screening protocol, which is also called stage of diagnosis. In this last step, 14 children were lost to follow-up and 62 infants were tested for hearing threshold using analysis of auditory brainstem response. Finally, after verification of the results obtained in the third stage using behavioral audiometry and impedance, 49 children showed hearing loss with a hearing threshold greater than 30 dB. The prevalence of neonatal hearing loss in the maternity unit was 3.2%. There were 27 male and 22 female patients, of whom 29 had bilateral hearing loss and 20 children had unilateral hearing loss. In contrast, the study of the risk factors of hearing loss allowed us to identify those who are present among the detected newborns and to calculate the prevalence of hearing loss among newborns admitted in the neonatal ICU, which was 2.14%. The risk factors most associated with deafness are infections with cytomegalovirus and rubella, damage to the nervous system and craniofacial malformations. The rehabilitation of hearing is based on speech rehabilitation and the use a hearing aid, either conventional prosthesis or cochlear implant. Conclusion Newborn hearing screening using a three-stage protocol is possible. It allows to detect hearing loss earlier to initiate early hearing and language rehabilitation, the only way to guarantee alignment of children born with hearing impairment or with contracted hearing loss during the neonatal period with their peers with normal hearing.

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