Neonatal hearing screening- time to make a noise- experience from a private medical college in South Rajasthan


  • Ravi Bhatia Department of Pediatrics, Pacific Medical College and Hospital, Udaipur, Rajasthan, India
  • Rajendra Gorwara Department of ENT, Pacific Medical College and Hospital, Udaipur, Rajasthan, India
  • Rajendra Gorwara Department of ENT, Pacific Medical College and Hospital, Udaipur, Rajasthan, India



Brainstem Evoked Response Audiometry, Hearing impairment, Hearing loss, Neonate, Oto- Acoustic emissions, Screening


Background: Neonatal Hearing Loss has a prevalence that is twice than that of disorders like congenital hypothyroidism, phenyl ketonuria etc. Early detection of hearing impairment is vital since early intervention in form of hearing aids and speech therapy would help lead a child a normal life. The aim of the study was to set up a neonatal hearing screening program and to study the various risk factors which could be associated with hearing loss.

Methods: The prospective descriptive study was carried over a period of two years. All neonates before being discharged were subjected to OAE. OAE was done on Oto Read Machine (Intra acoustic) and BERA was done on BERA eclipse machine (Intra acoustic). Babies who failed the first OAE were called back for a repeat OAE at six weeks of age. Babies who failed the second OAE were referred to a trained audiologist for BERA which was performed on BERA Eclipse machine.

Results: Out of 1114 neonates screened, 285 neonates failed the first OAE and were called back at six weeks for repeat OAE. Out of the 285 babies who were called for repeat OAE, 258 turned up 27(9.47%) were lost to follow up. Out of the 258 babies who turned up, 245 passed the test while 13 failed the test. 13 Babies who had failed the second OAE screening were called back 1 month later for BERA testing. Out of the 13 babies who turned up for BERA testing, 12 passed the test and 1 failed giving us a prevalence of 0.89 per 1000 population. Of the various risk factors studied only low birth weight was found to be having significant association with hearing loss.

Conclusion: Neonatal hearing screening is the need of the hour. Larger multi centric studies are required to establish the prevalence of hearing impairment among newborns.


Fischer DA, Dussalt JH, Foley TP, Klein AH, Lafranchi S, Larsen Pr, et al. Screening for congenital hypothyroidism: results of screening one million North American infants. J Pediatr. 1979;94:700-5.

Bickel H, Bachmann C, Beckers R, Brandt NJ, Clayton BE, Corrado G, et al. Neonatal mass screening for metabolic disorders: summary of recent sessions on the community of experts to study inborn metabolic diseases. Eur J Pediatr. 1981;137:133-9.

Mehra S, Eavey RD, Keamy DG. The epidemiology of hearing impairment in the United States : newborns, children and adolescents. Otolaryngol Head Neck Surg.2009;140:461-72.

Stach BA, Ramachnadran VS. Hearing disorders in children. In: Madell JR, Flexer C eds. Pediatric Audiology: Diagnosis, Technology and Management. NewYork: Thieme Medical Publishers Inc;2008.3-12.

Judith A, Mason MS, Kenneth R, Herrmann MD. Universal infant hearing screening by automated auditory brainstem response measurement. Pediatrics.1998;101:221-8.

Nagapoornima P, Ramesh A, Srilakshmi, Rao S, Patricia PL, Gore M, et al. Universal hearing screening. Indian J Pediatr.2007;74:545-9.

Paul AK. Early identification of hearing loss and centralized newborn hearing screening facility- The Cochin experience. Indian Pediatr.2011;48:355-9.

Rai N, Thakur N. Universal screening of newborns to detect hearing impairment- Is it necessary ?. Int J Pediatr Otorhinolargynol.2013;77:1036-41.

AAP , Joint Committee on Infant Hearing 1994 position statement. Pediatrics.1995;95: 152-156.

Website: Indian Council of Medical Research. Collaborative study on prevalence and etiology of hearing impairment. Project report, 1983. Available at http;// reports/hearing. Accessed 12th May 2019.

Kacker SK. The scope of Pediatric Audiology in India. In: Deka RC, Kacker SK, Vijayalakshmi B,eds. Pediatric Audiology in India,1st ed. Otorhinolaryngological Research Society of AIIMS; New Delhi; 1997:20.

National Heath Mission. Rashtriya Bal Swasthya Karyakram(RBSK), 2013[Internet]. Downloaded 2017 Mar 28. Available at: http://

De Capua B, De Falice C, Costantini D, Bagnoli F, Passali D. Newborn hearing screening program by transient evoked otoacoustic emissions: analysis of response as a function of risk factors. Acta Otorhinolaryngol Italica. 2003;23:16-20.

Maxon AB, White KR, Vohr BR, Behrens TR. Using transient evoked otoacoustic emissions for neonatal hearing screening. Br J Audiol. 1993;27:149-53.

Maxon AB, White KR, Behrens TR, Vohr BR. Referral rates and cost efficiency in a universal newborn hearing screening program using transient evoked otoacoustic emissions. J Am Acad Audiol. 1995;6:271-7.

Iwasaki S, Hayashi Y, Seki A, Nagura M, Hashimoto Y, Oshima G, A model of two stage newborn hearing screening with automated auditory brainstem response. Int J Pediatr Otorhinolaryngol. 2003;67:1099-104.

Van Straaten HL, Hille ET, Kok JH, Verkek PH. Dutch NICU Neonatal Hearing Screening Working Group. Implementation of a nation- wide automated auditory brainstem response hearing screening program in neonatal intensive care units. Acta Paediatr. 2003;92:332-8.

Augustine AM, Jana AK, Kuruvilla KA, Danda S, Lepcha A, Ebenezer J, et al. Home Past Issues About IP About IAP Author Information Subscription Advertisement Search. Indian Pediatr. 2014;51:179-83.

James M, Kumar P, Ninan P. A study on prevalence and risk factors of hearing impairment among newborns. Int J Contemp Pediatr.2018 Mar;5(2):304-9.

Joint Committee on Infant Hearing. Joint Committee on Infant Hearing (JICH) 1994 Position Statement. Pediatrics. 1994;95:152-6.

Mukhari SZ, Tan KY, Abdullah A. A pilot project on hospital based universal newborn hearing screening: Lessons learned. Int J Pediatr Otorhinolaryngol. 2006;70:843-51.






Original Research Articles