Hearing Screening

How can my baby’s hearing be screened?

We use a device called the ALGO screener. The ALGO screener uses Automated Auditory Brainstem Response technology. The screener sends soft clicking sounds to your baby’s ears through earphones. Sensors, which resemble stickers, pick up the response from your baby’s brain and send it to the ALGO device, where it is analyzed automatically.The ALGO device then gives an automatic PASS or REFER result.

What does PASS/REFER mean?

A PASS result indicates that your baby hears at levels required for normal speech and language development at the time of the screen.  A REFER result indicates that your baby needs additional testing.

What happens if my baby has a REFER result?

If your child REFERS, this does not mean your child has a hearing impairment.  Sometimes there may be fluid or debris in the ear canal following delivery.  If your baby REFERS on either ear, the screen is repeated. If a REFER is present after the second screen, your baby will be recommended for a diagnostic test which is performed at a later date to determine if there is a hearing impairment.

How long does the test take?

The screening takes a few minutes, provided that your baby is quiet. The screening time depends entirely upon how quietly your baby is resting.

Is this test painful to my baby?

No. The test is completely non-invasive and most infants sleep through the screening.

Who does the test?

The newborn hearing screening program is supervised by The Family Place staff.  The Family Place staff have been trained to operate the screening equipment and will perform the screening. You will be notified of the screening results prior to discharge. If any further testing is necessary, we will notify your baby’s doctor.