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Newborn screening

Newborns are screened for certain congenital metabolic disorders and intolerances using a test which has been established for many years. If carried out at an early stage, therapy can prevent these disorders from causing long-term damage and enable the child to develop normally and healthily. To perform the test, a paediatric nurse from the unit takes a few drops of blood from the baby’s heel when the baby is between 36 and 48 hours old. The blood sample is then sent to a special screening laboratory.

Hearing screening

Hearing loss is one of the most common sensory disorders during the neonatal period. In Germany, 1,400 to 1,600 babies are born every year with persistent hearing loss. Without newborn hearing screenings, hearing loss is generally detected too late.

By the time parents or carers notice that their child does not speak as much as or as well as other children, it is often too late to be able to react adequately, as good hearing is essential for many development processes. The later a hearing disorder is recognised and treated, the more serious the effects. Early detection and treatment can prevent negative consequences and give the child the best start in life.

The hearing screening test is carried out by our specially trained nursing staff during the first days after birth using a special measuring instrument. A small probe inserted into the baby’s ear sends a soft sound into the ear, which should produce an echo.

If your baby is at-risk for a hearing disorder or the results indicate that your baby needs to be monitored, a second screening test that measures the auditory brainstem response will be carried out. It is easier and quicker to carry out the test if your baby is asleep.

The hearing test is not painful and has no side effects.

If the results indicate that your baby needs to be monitored, you should not wait too long. Within the next four weeks, you will need to take your baby to a qualified paediatric audiology clinic, where special tests will be carried out.

The nursing staff will provide you with addresses and further information.

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