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For UNHS Staff

This resource is for Universal Neonatal Hearing Screening Program (UNHS) staff and other health professionals who provide hearing assessments of infants and young children.


Screening model

The screening model adopted by the South Australian UNHS program involves dedicated screeners, hospital and community midwives, Women's and Children's Health Network (WCHN) community nurses and dedicated Audiologists.

The primary role of the:

  • Midwife/Screener is to link a single AABR screen to an infant's Neonatal Screen (Guthrie) prior to discharge from hospital. In this way, high coverage can be achieved and monitored.
  • WCHN Community Nurse is to contact the families and offer an AABR screen to all infants who referred in one or both ears from their hospital screen or who did not complete a hospital screen. In this way, effective and timely follow-up can be achieved.
  • Audiologist is to provide diagnostic services for infants and their families in their local service centre. This involves traveling within the metropolitan area in addition to rural and remote areas across the state. In this way, Audiological assessment is accessible for all infants and all families.

Referral Criteria

Babies should not be screened until 34 weeks gestation.

Babies with one or more of the following risk factors should be referred directly for diagnostic audiological assessment.

Babies should be referred directly to the Universal Neonatal Hearing Screening Program:

  • Cranio-facial abnormalities that might imply abnormal anatomy of the central neurological pathways or auditory pathway, for example:
      - Hydrocephalus
      - Microcephaly
      - Cleft Palate
  • Conditions that necessarily impede hearing e.g. atresia of the external auditory meatus
  • Any Syndrome related to a permanent hearing loss e.g. Pendreds, Waardenburg’s
  • Bacterial or viral meningitis
  • Significant congenital infection in baby (TORCH) including:
      - Toxoplasmosis
      - Rubella
      - CMV
      - Herpes Simplex
      - Syphilis infection

These infants have such a high risk of hearing impairment that they require full audiological assessment rather than screening. Referral to the UNHS audiologists is made by the hospital midwife or dedicated UNHS screener.

All other babies are screened using Automated Auditory Brainstem Response (AARB) screening.

Referral Forms

 PDF document icon - smallUNHS Newborn Referral Form

The following form is used for referring babies directly to the UNHS program who require diagnostic assessment or who require surveillance.

PDF document icon - smallUNHS Full Diagnostic Audiology Referral Form

Referral Pathways

PDF document icon - smallUNHS Hearing Screening Protocol (224Kb)

PDF document icon - smallUNHS Diagnostic Infant Audiology Protocol (283Kb)

Support for Staff
(Including hospital and community midwives and CaFHS nurses)

For support with:

  • clinical and administrative issues
  • equipment and consumables
  • ordering program pamphlets
  • training and development

please contact:

WCHN Children’s Audiology Service
295 South Terrace
Adelaide SA 5000

Phone: (08) 8303 1585
Fax: (08) 8303 1640

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