Frequency of hearing impairment in neonates born in a tertiary-care hospital of a developing country: A prospective-observational study.
Keywords:Brainstem Auditory Evoked Response, Hearing Impairment, Neonatal Jaundice, Otoacoustic Emissions, Sensor Neural Hearing Loss
Objective: To evaluate the frequency of hearing impairment and the prenatal, antenatal, and postnatal variables associated with hearing impairment in neonates at the Indus hospital in Karachi. Study Design: Prospective, Observational, Cohort study. Setting: Department of Pediatrics and Neonatology, Sheikh Saeed Memorial Campus (SSMC) of Indus Hospital and Health Network (IHHN) Karachi, Pakistan. Period: July 2020 to June 2022. Material & Methods: We screened 426 neonates for hearing impairment utilizing otoacoustic emissions (OAEs) Auditory brainstem response test (ABR) and “brainstem auditory evoked response” (BERA). Babies who failed OAE and ABR test underwent BERA. Babies with abnormal BERA report were proven to have hearing impairment. Results: A total of 426 neonates were screened through the study period. Of these 426, 134 (31.5%) were unsuccessful and a second stage OAE test was conducted where 63 (47.0%) passed and 71 (53.0%) did not. The ABR test was administered to 71 neonates, 42 (59.2%) failed the test and received referrals for diagnostic BERA. Of those 42 neonates, 15 neonates tested positive for BERA, 10 of them were found to have sensor neural hearing loss while 5 had conductive hearing loss. Neonatal jaundice patients were more likely to experience hearing impairment (p=0.011). Family history of hearing loss (p=0.001) and fetal distress (p=0.043) were significantly related with hearing impairment. Conclusion: The result of our study has discovered a significant number of risk factors for hearing loss, which is crucial since it will allow for close monitoring of the kids who have these risk factors. Furthermore, our research emphasizes the need of newborn hearing screening in our country, since this screening is not generally carried out in all facilities.
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