Survey on infant hearing loss at Caritas Baby Hospital in Bethlehem-Palestine
AbstractThis study describes the epidemiology of infants hearing loss (IHL) among patients under 3 months of age at Caritas Baby Hospital, the only pediatric hospital in Palestine. It was aimed to demonstrate that IHL is a major health problem in Palestine and to assess the first available data of the newborn hearing screening program conducted between September 25, 2006 and December 31, 2011. Data was uploaded and analyzed using Microsoft Excel and the Statistical Package for the Social Sciences software (SPSS version 21). A total of 8144 infants were tested, 4812 (59%) were males and 3332 (41%) were females. As to their origin, 72% (5886) came from the Bethlehem district, 25% (2044) from the Hebron district, while 3% (214) from the other Palestinian districts (Jericho, Ramallah, Nablus, Jenin and Jerusalem). The transient evoked otoacoustic emissions (TEOAEs) and the automated auditory brainstem response were used according to the manufacturer guidelines. The results were interpreted according to the indications of the American Academy of Pediatrics, the National Institutes of Health, and the European Consensus Development Conference on Neonatal Hearing Screening. Out of the 8144 infants tested, 1507 (14.6%) did not pass the 1st test, 477 (32.8%) of these 1507 infants failed retesting, while 498 (33%) patients were lost to follow-up. Only 152 (31.9%) patients that failed retesting went to an audiologist. The audiologist evaluation revealed that 101 (66.4%) patients presented with a mild-moderate or profound hearing loss according to the Bureau International of Audiophonologie standards, 44 (28.9%) patients had otitis media, whereas 7 cases (4.7%) had no hearing disorders. The overall unadjusted percentage of hearing loss was 1.24%, and the adjusted overall percentage was 1.85%. The chart review showed that jaundice, sepsis, prematurity, lung disease were more common among the affected patients. The high prevalence of childhood deafness in Palestine is of utmost importance and deserves immediate attention on the part of the Palestinian government. Meanwhile, Caritas Baby Hospital undertook to set up a newborn hearing screening unit utilizing the TEOAE method.
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Copyright (c) 2014 Lucia Corradin, Musa Hindiyeh, Rasha Khaled, Fadi Rishmawi, Marwan Zidan, Hiyam Marzouqa
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