Henry Ford Hospital Medical Journal


From 1984 to 1989 the Infant Hearing Screening (IHS) program at Henry Ford Hospital identified 1,300 infants as being "at risk" for hearing loss. The prevalence of significant sensorineural hearing loss in this sample was 1.4%. Additionally, 80 infants who passed the IHS program and reached 3 years of age were found to have normal hearing sensitivity by conventional audiometric techniques (ie, no false-negative predictions). There were three false-positive predictions. It was discovered that infants of low birthweight (ie, < 1,500 g) were three times more likely to fail IHS than those whose weight exceeded 1,500 g. A higher return rate was found for infants failing an initial hearing screening conducted in the neonatal intensive care unit in comparison to those screened as outpatients one week postdischarge. The sensitivity and specificity of behavioral observation audiometry were 43% and 92%, respectively, when brainstem auditory-evoked potentials was used as the criterion validity measure.