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.
Kara Lenocker | EurekAlert!
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