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November 15, 2007

Increasing numbers of newborns receive hearing screening

The outlook is bright for newborns in the United States, as far as their hearing health care is concerned. 65 percent of all newborns are screened for hearing loss. Hearing screening for newborns is offered by 45 states.

In 1993, fewer than 5 percent of newborns in the United States received hearing screening before they left the hospital after their birth. Today, the screening percentage is as high as 65, and the screening numbers are expected to increase, according to the National Conference of State Legislatures. NCSL

Between three and four newborns in 1,000 suffer from hearing loss, which is one of the most common developmental abnormalities present at birth.

45 US states offer routine hearing screening of newborns. Among the other five, Michigan is in the process of instituting a routine screening programme for newborns before they leave the hospital.

The federal Newborn Infant Hearing Screening and Intervention Act of 1999 offers up to three years of grant funding to states for development of screening and intervention programs.

Source: www.ncsl.org/programs/health/hear50.htm, www.asha.org/about/legislation-advocacy/state/issues/overview.htm#steps

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