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Universal Newborn Hearing Screening Coming Soon: "Hear's" Why

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Screening the hearing of all newborns, both NICU and well nursery, is rapidly becoming the standard of care. The impetus for universal newborn hearing screening (UNHS) has come from outside the domain of nursing and the newborn nursery. Because nursing will be involved in nearly all aspects of UNHS, nurses need a thorough knowledge base about permanent childhood hearing loss (PCHL) and UNHS. Technology exisits today that can objectively and physiologically screen for this condition at a cost comparable to metabolic screening. PCHL occurs more than twice as often as all the hemoglobinopathies and inborn errors of metabolism combined. Undiagnosed hearing loss often leads to permanent developmental delays. The ultimate goal of early diagnosis and intervention for a congenital hearing loss is to enable the child to develop language and communication skills that correspond to his chronological age and innate cognitive abilities.

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Document Type: Research Article

Publication date: December 1, 2001

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