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Initial outcomes from universal newborn hearing screening in Avon

  • R J Sim (a1), S Matthew (a2), R J Foley (a3) and P J Robinson (a2)



The Avon Area Health Authority was a first-phase site for introduction of universal newborn screening in the UK. The aims of this study were: to review the programme's results to date; to assess the impact screening would have on other services (e.g. the cochlear implant programme); and to assess the longer term outcome for children identified by the screening programme.


All children identified by the Avon universal newborn hearing screening programme between April 2002 and July 2006.


Fifty-four children with a bilateral hearing impairment of worse than 40 dBHL were identified from a screened population of approximately 44 000. Nine of these children were put forward for cochlear implantation, and seven had been implanted at the time of writing. Thirteen of these children were identified with possible auditory neuropathy or dys-synchrony. All the newborn hearing screening programme criteria assessed were met.


The screening programme was effective. Some areas may need review in order to optimise patient care.


Corresponding author

Address for correspondence: Mr R J Sim, Department of Otolaryngology, Dorset County Hospital NHS Foundation Trust, Dorchester DT1 2JY, UK. Fax: 01305 254155 E-mail:


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