By coincidence, new country statistics from Ireland and the UK for newborn hearing testing, became available the same week this month.
The figures from the Irish Times paper show that since April 2011
- over 8,000 babies have had newborn hearing tests in Cork
- one hundred babies were referred for further hearing testing
- all received intervention within 3 months of detection
- referral times for further tests have dropped by over two years
In the wider Irish context, one to two babies per 1000 are born with hearing issues, many being in hearing families without any experience of deafness.
Until now, babies in Ireland had a ‘distraction’ type hearing-test at 9 months, but this test is highly unreliable. Newborn hearing tests are run with hi-tech systems while the baby is sleeping or resting, so the testing is not intrusive.
New figures from the UK show five million babies to have had newborn hearing tests since the national screening program started in 2001. Ninety-five per cent of these babies had further tests to identify their individual needs by the age of five weeks old, in partnership with their own families.
- Newborn Hearing Tests Support Early Intervention
- Cork University Maternity Hospital Begins UNHS
- Publication of HSE South Audiology Review, 2009
- UNHS: Obligatory, Voluntary Or Not Necessary?
- A TeleAudiology Program With Lessons For Ireland
- Newborn Hearing Tests In Waterford and Wexford
- Hearing-Aids + Learning = Education