Don’t run the newborn hearing screening at birth but at least after 48 hours of life in a 1st level birth center.

Type of practice

Other health practices

Topic Area


Newborn hearing screening allows an early detection of congenital hearing loss, whose prevalence is 1-3 cases per thousand births in the absence of risk factors. It must be performed in all birth centers, on all newborns before discharge, by trained personnel, in well defined ideal environmental conditions and using appropriate instruments. The screening aims at diagnosing within the first 3 months of life and intervene within 6. The first level neonatal screening provides for the automatic evaluation of transient evoked otoacoustic emissions (TOAEs) in response to acoustic stimuli. They are not always early detectable, due to the persistence of material in the external ear canal or to signal masked by other noises or in born by Caesarean section, with more false positive results than expected and great parents’ concerns.Perform routine testing 48 h after birth may facilitate the diagnosing; reduce false positives, relieve parents’ anxiety and spare the time and money necessary to repeat the first level screening during the same hospitalization or to undergo a brainstem auditory evoked response (BAER) test in a 2nd level center.


1. Joint comittee on infant hearing. American speech-language-hearing association. Position statement: principles and guidelines for early hearing detection and intervention programs; 2007.
2. Palmieri G; Fisiologia della sordità infantile in La sordità infantile: classificazione, eziologia, diagnosi e terapia della sordità del bambino; Firenze, 2012.
3. Alberelli MC, Pavanello L, Orzan E: Lo screening uditivo neonatale: un’esperienza a misura di nido; Medico e bambino; maggio 2012.
4. Smolkin T, Mick O, Dabbah M et al: Birth by cesarean delivery and failure on first otoacoustic emission hearing test; pediatrics; June 2012.
5. Khoza K, Joubert K: The influence of epidural anesthesia on new born hearing screening: a pilot study. .Journal of pharmacy & bioallied sciences; 2011 Jan-Mar; 3(1): 135-141.

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