COVID19 Updates on Newborn Hearing Screening

Recommendations on Performing Newborn Hearing Screening and Confirmatory Tests during the COVID-19 Pandemic   Follow your hospital’s or institution’s procedural protocols regarding disinfection and attire during the COVID-19 pandemic. However, the following are the NHSRC recommendations to ensure the safety of the patient and personnel while performing hearing tests in infants.   RECOMMENDATIONS ON TESTING:   Performing hearing tests in infants are considered non-invasive and non-aerosol producing procedures.  However, because of the COVID-19 pandemic certain precautions will need to be in place to protect the patients, medical and paramedical staff when performing hearing tests on infants.   Timing:   Newborn hearing screening should be performed when the baby is healthy and ready for discharge for hearing screening using Otoacoustic Emissions (OAE) or Automated Auditory Brainstem Response (AABR). The timing for newborn hearing screening can be maximized to three (3) months, after which confirmatory testing using Auditory Brainstem Response (ABR) with or without Auditory Steady State Response (ASSR) is advised for those who will have a REFER result.  However, it must be noted that for Philhealth claims, hearing testing should be done within 2 months or 60 days.   For infants born to mothers who are SUSPECTS or COVID-19 positive, testing should be done after the infant becomes COVID-19 negative or before 3 months after birth preferably using Automated Auditory Brainstem Response (AABR) so that no retest will be done if the result is REFER, immediately proceeding to confirmatory testing when needed as previously mentioned. Testing using OAE or AABR can be also be done shortly before discharge provided extra precaution should be employed (see preparation).   Preparation:   Social...

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