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July 22, 2003

Local Hospitals to Make Baby Hearing Tests Routine

From: WYTV, OH - Jul 22, 2003


Can your baby hear you?

Hearing loss is the number one birth defect and the state has told every hospital in Ohio this year to begin checking the hearing of every new baby.

It's very important in developing speech and learning skills. Jami Ryan of Warren gave birth to Nina at St. Joseph's Hospital. It's time for Nina's test. The Humility of Mary health system has routinely screened every newborn's hearing for 15 years. "She hears all the nurses and stuff behind her and she's trying to look and she's got her head back. She's very alert, though, to actually what's going on here. Hearing is very important, definitely," says Jami.

The test allows audiologists to tell if sounds are getting through. If not, the hospital begins a special program.

"Where that child is given further audiological testing to determine where the hearing loss is and then either the child is fit with hearing aids or they become a candidate for a cochlear implant," says Dorian Miller, the HMHP audiology coordinator.

The push is on for this universal screening across the country.

The national campaign for hearing health has given Ohio its lowest rating for newborn screening but at least at the Humility of Mary and at Forum, the tests are now routine.

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