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July 1974

Automated Newborn Hearing Screening, the Crib-o-gram

Author Affiliations

Stanford, Calif
From the Division of Otolaryngology, Stanford University School of Medicine, Stanford, Calif.

Arch Otolaryngol. 1974;100(1):1-7. doi:10.1001/archotol.1974.00780040005001

A completely automated method for hearing screening in either the well-baby or intensive care unit nursery has been developed on a population of 6,000 infants. A motion-sensitive transducer, placed beneath or in the infant's crib, detects virtually any motion stronger than an eye blink (including respiration). A stripchart automatically records this motor activity before and after a test sound, shuts itself off, then recycles at predetermined intervals 20 times in 24 hours. Responses for this period (or lack of them) are scored in about 30 seconds by experienced readers and in 60 to 90 seconds by inexperienced readers. This preliminary report describes our experiences with two such systems, a multichannel unit capable of screening large well-baby nurseries (32 and more bassinets), and smaller sick-baby nurseries on demand. Screening cost is estimated at 85¢ per child, and no highly trained personnel are required. Operation is seven days per week on a totally automated basis. While no such test can be validated for general use without long-term follow-up, this technique has several advantages over other screening tests. It does detect deafness, and deserves a more widespread clinical trial.

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