Missing information from parents may cause faulty diagnosis of hearing screened newborns.
Some parents may forget some of their family medical history, or they may leave out that they may have venereal disease. These are examples of how some parents, more or less deliberately, end up undermining the hearing screening of their newborns. In some instances, the result can be an incorrect diagnosis of their newborn's condition.
This concern was raised by Christine Rhodes, head of the hearing screening programme in South East Sydney, Australia. She explained that full and correct information provided by parents about potential risk factors is important for successful hearing screening.
Few admit risk factors
One child in 1,000 in South East Sydney is diagnosed with serious hearing loss. In about 10 percent of these, the hearing loss is rooted in one or more risk factors. But in the experience of Rhodes, only three percent of the parents of children with serious hearing loss acknowledge the presence of risk factors.
Some risk factors include early delivery (before the 39th week of the pregnancy), low birth weight (less than 1500 g, or 3.3 lbs) cranio-facial abnormalities in the child, the newborn having been on a ventilator for five days or more, and hearing loss among relatives. The mother having had rubella, cytomegalovirus, herpes or bacterial meningitis, are other risk factors.
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