Victorian Infant Hearing Screening Program (VIHSP)Locations:
The Victorian Infant Hearing Screening Program (VIHSP) screens the hearing of newborn babies, from birth to six-months. It is a free, quick and simple way to check your baby’s hearing, and detect hearing loss early on.
Every year, a small number of babies are born with a hearing loss.
Hearing loss means that a baby cannot hear some, or all sounds due to a disruption to the hearing pathway. Early identification and assistance for children with a hearing loss is important for their development. Hearing loss can affect their developing speech and language skills.
Early detection through the Victorian Infant Hearing Screening Program means families can get good advice and support, giving babies with hearing loss the best possible start in life.
During the screen, the hearing screener will place small stick-on sensors onto your baby’s forehead, shoulder and back of the neck, along with soft ear-cups over both ears. These will be attached to an Automated Auditory Brainstem Response (AABR) unit. Soft clicking sounds are played into your baby’s ears, and the stick-on sensors detect your baby’s response to the sounds.
Find us at:
300 Princes Highway
Werribee Victoria 3030
Catherine McAuley CentreConsulting Room 13
Every day (excluding Christmas Day)
What to do before
We try to screen babies as soon as possible after birth, when they are well and settled.
What to bring
Please bring your baby’s green folder – My Health, Learning and Development for your appointments.
What to expect on the day
The screen usually takes less than 15 minutes. You are welcome to stay with your baby during the screen. You can hold or breastfeed your baby during the screen. Some babies might not get their screen before they leave hospital. If your baby is not screened before you go home, we will contact you to arrange a suitable time to perform the screen.
During the screen, the hearing screener will place small stick-on sensors onto your baby’s forehead, shoulder and back of the neck, along with soft ear cups over both ears. These will be attached to an automated auditory brainstem response (AABR) unit.
This check is harmless for your baby. Soft clicking sounds are played into your baby’s ears, and the stick-on sensors detect your baby’s response to the sounds.
Throughout your experience, you may be supported by:
- VIHSP hearing screener
- VIHSP area manager
- VIHSP early support services worker.
What questions should you ask
If your baby is admitted to the Special Care or Neonatal Intensive Care Nurseries, the screen will be performed as close as possible to when your baby is ready to go home.
You will be given the result of the screen as soon as it is completed. This is recorded in your baby’s growth and development record (green book). The results may suggest that your baby needs further testing and be referred to an audiologist for further investigation and more detailed hearing tests.
Hearing can change over time, so it is important to pay attention to your baby’s hearing as he/she grows. If you are concerned about your baby’s hearing, you can discuss a referral to an Audiologist with your local community maternal health nurse or general practitioner (GP).
For health professionals
Automated auditory brainstem response (AABR) hearing screening is performed for all infants born in Victoria. The Victorian Infant Hearing Screening Program (VIHSP) performs this service for newborns, birth–six months of age.
If a baby is not screened prior to discharge, the family will be contacted to arrange a suitable time for the screening test to be performed.
How to prepare the patient
If there are other concerns regarding hearing, diagnostic audiology testing can be arranged.
What/when you should refer to us
Internal referrals of all newborn babies born or cared for at Werribee Mercy Hospital or Mercy Hospital for Women (Heidelberg).
What/when you should not refer to us
No external referrals
Additional contact details
VIHSP Head Office – The Royal Children’s Hospital Melbourne
Resources for you
http://infanthearing.vihsp.org.au/home — Victorian Infant Hearing Screening Program (VIHSP).
http://www.rch.org.au/vihsp/general_information/— The Royal Children’s Hospital Melbourne, general information about the VIHSP.
http://www.rch.org.au/vihsp/resources — Additional resources about the VIHSP from The Royal Children’s Hospital Melbourne website.
Werribee Mercy Hospital
300 Princes Highway
Werribee Victoria 3030
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