California Newborn Hearing Screening Program

Mission Hospital is licensed by the State of California to perform Newborn Hearing Screening procedures. During your hospital stay you will have the opportunity to have your baby’s hearing screened prior to going home.

A hearing loss can be invisible, so having your baby’s hearing screened is very important. The American Academy of Pediatrics and other professional organizations recommend hearing screening for all newborns and encourage close monitoring of children’s hearing throughout their early years. The first months and years of a child’s life are very important for developing communication skills. This is why it is very important to identify a loss early and provide special services for the baby and family.

Serious hearing loss is found in about 24 out of 1000 babies. About 50 percent of babies with hearing loss have no known signs or risk factors.

The Newborn Hearing Screening takes place in your room. The screening takes only a few minutes, often while your baby sleeps. Soft sounds are played through a ear piece specially made for babies. Your baby’s response to the sound is automatically measured by Otoacoustic Emissions (OAE). The test is performed by highly skilled Newborn Hearing Screening Technicians. You will receive the results prior to going home from the registered nurse caring for you. If the hearing test results in one or both ears not passing, we will schedule a follow up appointment for you.

The cost of Newborn Hearing Screening may be covered by your health insurance. Medi-Cal will pay for screening for eligible babies.

The goal of California’s Newborn Hearing Screening Program is to identify babies with hearing loss and link them with services by six months of age. The program has Hearing Coordination Centers that work with families, health care providers and hospitals to help make sure children receive the services they need.