By the Oklahoma Newborn Hearing Screening Program

According to the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) website,, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) indicates:

  • Between the years of 2005-2012 over 34,000 infants were identified with hearing loss
  • 1 to 3 of every 1,000 newborns have confirmed hearing loss.
  • There has been an increase in the percentage of infants who receive newborn hearing screening. In 1999, 46.5% of infants were screened and in 2011, over 97% of infants received newborn hearing screening.

Children who are deaf or hard of hearing face a potential developmental emergency and should be identified as quickly as possible so that appropriate intervention services can be started. To address these issues, the AAP has developed several tools and resources that Primary Care Clinicians can use to guide the primary areas of focus for promising practices and processes within Early Hearing Detection and Intervention (EHDI).

One of those tools is the Early Hearing Detection and Intervention (EHDI) Guidelines for Pediatric Medical Home Providers. The easy to follow flow chart can serve as guidelines for pediatric primary care providers by providing a step-by-step guide on hearing screening, diagnosis, and management from birth through 6 months of age and beyond. Some of these steps for ongoing care of all infants coordinated by the Medical Home Provider include:

  • Provide parents with information about hearing, speech, and language milestones
  • Identify and aggressively treat middle ear disease
  • Provide vision screening (and referral when indicated) as recommended in the AAP “Bright Futures Guidelines, 3rd Ed.”
  • Provide ongoing developmental screening (and referral when indicated) per the AAP “Bright Futures Guidelines, 3rd Ed.”
  • Refer promptly for audiology evaluation when there is any parental concern regarding hearing, speech, or language development
  • Refer for audiology evaluation (at least once before age 30 months) infants who have any risk indicators for later-onset hearing loss. A list of risk factors is provided to assist providers.

 For a copy of the algorithm, visit

To learn more about the Oklahoma Newborn Hearing Screening Program or gather resources for families please send an email to