Outcome of the universal neonatal hearing screening in Croatia 2003-2014

In the late 2002/early 2003, a new screening of newborns, universal hearing screening, was launched in Croatia. The aim of the study was to check the success of the implementation of the screening and compare it with the results in other countries. The fi rst level of screening is conducted with the aid of transient otoacoustic emission (OAE) for all newborns, regardless of any risk factor. In recent years, three maternity hospitals started using the method of automated evoked brainstem response (A-ABR) recording for neonates lacking OAE results, and for children treated in an intensive care unit. The second level of screening is carried out by OAE in the same hospital where the child was born, or in the audiology clinic by OAE and/or A-ABR. During the 2003-2014 period, data were collected on 258810 neonates. The average screening rate was 97%. The second level screening was required in 3.5% of newborns. The response to the second level of screening was analyzed for 155646 neonates. Out of 5985 positive neonates, screening coverage of the second level was 4873 (81.4%). Diagnostic evaluation was required in 1104/155646 (0.7%) infants. The results showed successful implementation of the new screening in health care of newborns in Croatia. The screening rate is good and the rate of referral is acceptable, as is the response to the second level screening, although there is room for improvement. It is still necessary to improve monitoring of screening results.
Keywords: screening, neonatal; hearing; Croatia
Category: Original scientific paper
Volume: Vol. 60, No 1, january - march 2016
Authors: B. Marn, † B. Kekić
Reference work: Paediatr Croat. 2016;60:9-15
DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.13112/PC.2016.2

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