DeafHear Regional News

Regional News

Hearing Screening for newborn babies under way in Kilkenny and Clonmel

Hearing Screening for newborn babies under way in Kilkenny and Clonmel

DeafHear is delighted that the HSE have made further progress in rolling-out the National Newborn Hearing Programme. The HSE has announced that parents of all babies born at St. Luke´s General Hospital Carlow-Kilkenny and South Tipperary General Hospital, Clonmel, from Wednesday 21st March, will be offered a hearing screening test – prior to being discharged from hospital. The test is available free–of–charge for all babies.

Babies who do not have a clear response in one or both ears from the initial testing within a week of being born will be seen for a full assessment at the Regional Diagnostic Audiology Clinic in Waterford Regional Hospital, shortly after their discharge.

Marking the extension of the programme to Carlow and Kilkenny, Dr. Mary Francis (Senior Medical Officer/Community Health, HSE Carlow-Kilkenny) said: “The hearing test will be carried out by a trained hearing screener, while the baby is settled or sleeping – usually at the mother´s bedside. The screener uses two non-invasive tests to screen the newborns´ hearing, with neither test causing any discomfort to the baby. The rates of babies needing further referral to the Regional Diagnostic Audiological Clinic will be relatively low (estimated at about 2-4% of all babies tested). The referral does not necessarily mean that a baby will have a hearing loss, it could be due to a number of other factors.”

Dr. Garry Courtney (Clinical Director, St. Luke´s General Hospital Carlow-Kilkenny), in also welcoming the extension of the programme, said: “The Newborn Hearing Screening Programme is a welcome new initiative in St. Luke´s GH. It benefits newborn babies and their families. Over 2,100 babies are born at St. Luke´s GH each year and they will now be receiving this service. We have welcomed the screening staff, as they take up their new positions. I´d like to thank the midwives and other hospital staff for assisting them as they commence duty.”

The Newborn Hearing Screening Programme has been in place at Cork University Maternity Hospital (CUMH) since April of last year and was extended to Waterford Regional, Wexford General Hospital and Kerry General Hospital in November. In addition to St. Luke´s General Hospital Carlow–Kilkenny, the programme has also begun operation at South Tipperary General Hospital in Clonmel from today March 21st 2012 at. The Newborn Hearing Screening Programme is now in place across the entire HSE South and over 19,000 babies per year will be screened at the six maternity hospitals in the region.

The HSE and Department of Health and Children have told DeafHear that the NHSP will be rolled out in the Dublin South, Mid-Leinster, Dublin North and North-East regions later in 2012, and that it will begin in the West region in early 2013. This will mean the full realisation of a long campaign by DeafHear whereby all Deaf and Hard of Hearing children born throughout the country will have the chance to benefit from early diagnosis and intervention. Early diagnosis and intervention has been shown internationally to result in major lifelong benefits for Deaf and Hard of Hearing children in terms of language, educational and social development.

DeafHear March 2012

 

    


 

more...Hearing loss costs an estimated €2.2bn every year in Ireland.

 

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