Newborn hearing screening is incredibly important. In fact, according to the Hearing Health Foundation, 97 percent of babies are screened for hearing disorders before leaving the hospital. Why is this? Because early intervention is of the utmost importance. According to the Center for Disease Control and Prevention, hearing loss can affect a child’s ability to develop speech, language, and social skills.
Like any disease or ailment, catching and treating hearing loss early yields positive outcomes. That’s why it’s important to ensure the newborn hearing screening equipment you’re using is of the utmost quality. Here are five features that you should look for in a newborn hearing screener.
1. Combined ABR and OAE Testing
OAE and ABR are two tests frequently performed on newborns, so why not have a screener that can do both. A combined OAE and ABR screener saves training time because the practitioner only needs to learn how to use one instrument. Additionally, it saves time by allowing you to perform OAE and ABR testing with one device as opposed to having to switch between multiple. Best of all, it compiles data from both tests and allows you to easily view and interpret results in one place.
2. CE-Chirp Stimuli
CE-Chirp is a family of stimuli that are short in duration and used in evoked potential testing. They were designed to increase the amplitude of the ABR, making them ideal for use when measuring hearing threshold. The main benefit of CE-Chirp is reduction in test time. According to studies by Stürzebecher, Cebulla, and Elberling, CE-Chirp stimuli lead to 50% reduction in test times (on normal-hearing individuals) with a median test time of 30 seconds per ear. They also generated responses with twice the amplitude of a traditional click.
With newborn screening, the faster you can produce an accurate test result, the better. A device with CE-Chirp stimuli will do the trick, but some newborn screeners offer additional features that increase speed. For example, the Novus offers a quick test option that allows you to perform testing without entering demographic information. Likewise, the MAICO EasyScreen features binaural automated ABR screening to quickly test both ears at the same time.
4. Easy Operation
Training takes time, and time is money. With a newborn hearing screener, you want something that you and your team can learn to use easily. For example, the Otodynamics Otocheck OAE-ABR features an easy fit probe design that makes it easier to achieve a good fit. Additionally, the Corti is makes testing easy by allowing you to complete a full OAE evaluation with just 3 button presses.
5. Database Integration
Having a newborn hearing screener that easily connects to a database where you can save results is key. Keeping tests stored in an organized database helps you easily access results and compare to others as needed. Instead of having to dig up prior physical records before an appointment, you can easily search for them if your newborn hearing screener integrates to a database.
If you’re looking for a newborn hearing screener, we carry a wide variety from the world’s most renowned manufacturers. For more information, check out our newborn hearing screening page today!