Efficacy of Distortion Product Oto-Acoustic Emission (OAE)/Auditory Brainstem Evoked Response (ABR) Protocols in Universal Neonatal Hearing Screening and Detecting Hearing Loss in Children <2 Years of Age

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Abstract

Deafness is commonest curable childhood handicap. Most remedies and programmes don’t address this issue at childhood level leading to detrimental impact on development of newborns. Aims and objectives are (A) screen all newborns for deafness and detect prevalence of deafness in children less than 2 years of age. and (B) assess efficacy of multi-staged OAE/ABR protocol for hearing screening. Methodology: Non-randomized, prospective study from August 2008 to August 2011. All infants underwent a series of oto-acoustic emission (OAE) and final confirmatory auditory brainstem evoked response (ABR) audiometry. Finally, out of 1,101 children, 1,069 children passed the test while 12 children had impaired hearing after final testing, confirmed by ABR. Positive predictive value of OAE after multiple test increased to 100 %. OAE–ABR test series is effective in screening neonates and multiple tests reduce economic burden. High risk screening will miss nearly 50 % deaf children, thus universal screening is indispensable in picking early deafness.