Universal hearing screening in newborns: experience in a tertiary care hospital of Mangalore, Karnataka, India


  • Y. Bhanu Chandar Reddy Department of Pediatrics, A J Institute of Medical Sciences, Mangalore, Karnataka, India
  • Sinchana Bhat Department of Pediatrics, A J Institute of Medical Sciences, Mangalore, Karnataka, India
  • Roshan Ann Oommen Department of Pediatrics, A J Institute of Medical Sciences, Mangalore, Karnataka, India
  • Santosh T. Soans Department of Pediatrics, A J Institute of Medical Sciences, Mangalore, Karnataka, India




Auditory brain stem evoked response, Newborn hearing screening, Otoacoustic emission


Background: The aim of the study was to do universal hearing screening of all newborns using otoacoustic emission (OAE), to know the incidence and risk factors of hearing loss in neonates.

Methods: This was a prospective observational study done in a tertiary care hospital in Mangalore city in Karnataka. 950 neonates were screened with distortion product otoacoustic emission (DPOAE) during the study period of one year from 2017 to 2018. A repeat test was done at one and a half months of age if the first test failed. Auditory brain stem evoked response (ABER) was performed at 3 months of age if both the tests failed. Babies with hearing loss were referred to ENT specialist for further management. Comparison of the variables was done by student’s t test and Chi-square test. P-value <0.05 was considered statistically significant.

Results: Out of the 950 newborns screened with DPOAE test, 204 (21.4 %) babies had abnormal screen either in single or both ears. 7 out of 204 (3.43%) babies had abnormal OAE on repeat testing at one and half months. 2 out of 7 babies (0.96 %) had significant hearing loss ABER was performed at 3 months of age.

Conclusions: Early identification by screening of hearing loss prevents a significant public health concern. Early recognition and intervention prior to 6 months have a significant positive impact on development.


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