European Journal of Pediatrics

, Volume 155, Issue 6, pp 429–435

Neonatal hearing screening

  • A. M. Oudesluys-Murphy
  • H. L. M. van Straaten
  • R. Bholasingh
  • G. A. van Zanten

DOI: 10.1007/BF01955176

Cite this article as:
Oudesluys-Murphy, A.M., van Straaten, H.L.M., Bholasingh, R. et al. Eur J Pediatr (1996) 155: 429. doi:10.1007/BF01955176


Severe congenital hearing impairment is an important handicap affecting 0.1% of live-born infants and 1%–2% of graduates of Neonatal Intensive Care Units. The prognosis for intellectual, emotional, language and speech development in the hearing-impaired child is improved when the diagnosis is made early and intervention is begun before the age of 6 months. The usual age at diagnosis of hearing impairment is at least 18–30 months (or even later in cases of less severe hearing impairment) where there are no screening programmes. When screening is carried out using distraction methods at the age of approximately 9 months some hearing-impaired infants are missed and those discovered are at least 15–18 months before intervention begins. Neonatal screening could give hearing-impaired children the best chances for optimal care and development. Universal neonatal hearing screening is necessary, because, when neonatal hearing screening is restricted to high risk groups 30%–50% of infants with hearing loss are not discovered. The methods available for neonatal hearing screening are discussed in this paper.


In our view automated measurement of auditory brainstem responses is the most valuable method for universal neonatal hearing screening.

Key words

Hearing impairment Neonatal hearing screening Auditory brainstem responses 



auditory brainstem responses


auditory response cradle


deeibel normal hearing level


evoked oto-acoustic emissions


transient evoked oto-acoustic emissions

Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag 1996

Authors and Affiliations

  • A. M. Oudesluys-Murphy
    • 1
  • H. L. M. van Straaten
    • 2
  • R. Bholasingh
    • 1
  • G. A. van Zanten
    • 3
  1. 1.Department of PaediatricsZuiderziekenhuisRotterdamThe Netherlands
  2. 2.Department of NeonatologySophia HospitalZwolleThe Netherlands
  3. 3.Department of AudiologyErasmus University, University Hospital Sophia-DijkzigtRotterdamThe Netherlands

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