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Early Hearing Detection and Intervention Program
What is the Early Hearing Detection and Intervention (EHDI) Program?
EHDI refers to the process of identifying and serving infants with hearing loss. The mission of the Connecticut EHDI program is to ensure that all Connecticut-born infants receive the appropriate hearing screenings, congenital Cytomegalovirus (cCMV) screenings, diagnostic hearing evaluations, and intervention services to maximize developmental outcomes without bias towards communication modes and methods.
What are the goals of the Connecticut EHDI Program?
*Ensure that all Connecticut newborns receive hearing screenings at birth, or by one month of age.
*Ensure that infants who failed their hearing screening also receive a cCMV screening.
*Ensure that infants who failed their hearing screening are evaluated by a pediatric audiologist and receive a diagnostic audiological follow-up test by three months of age.
*Ensure that infants diagnosed with a hearing loss are receiving early intervention services (Connecticut Office of Early Childhood’s Birth to Three program) by six months of age.
*Ensure families of the deaf or hard of hearing are enrolled in family supports by nine months of age.
These goals are accomplished by: promoting communication between medical homes, hearing screening, diagnostic, and Birth to Three providers; collecting and analyzing hearing loss data; partnership building; and provider and parent educational initiatives.
What is universal newborn hearing screening?
Under Connecticut state law which took effect July, 1, 2000, all birthing facilities must provide a universal newborn hearing screening as part of its standard of care. Universal newborn hearing screening is a mandatory test to check every infant's hearing after birth, preferably before leaving the hospital. The Department of Public Health has been charged with the development of a plan to implement and operate a program of early identification of infant hearing impairment. Click here to learn more about Connecticut General Statutes, Section 19a-59
Why is universal newborn hearing screening important?
Hearing loss is more common than you think. Hearing loss is one of the most commonly occurring birth defects found in infants. The Centers for Disease Control (CDC) 2019 Annual EHDI Program Data showed 1.7 babies out of every 1,000 screened had a hearing loss.
Why do infants that do not pass the universal newborn hearing screening also get tested for congenital Cytomegalovirus (cCMV)?
On January 1, 2016, C.G.S. Sec. 19a-55 was amended to require every Connecticut-born infant who fails their newborn hearing screening also be screened for congenital Cytomegalovirus (CMV), as soon after birth as is medically appropriate. This law also requires each institution caring for newborns (e.g. birthing facilities) to report any cases of CMV to the Department of Public Health. The full statute can be viewed here: https://www.cga.ct.gov/current/pub/chap_368a.htm#sec_19a-55.