The initial screen is considered “completed” at the hospital prior to discharge, or by a midwife after a homebirth. Sometimes in the hospital, the screeners may screen more than once to get a good reading (but should not be done more than twice), but that is still considered an initial or first screen.
If your child fails the initial screen, you will return for the outpatient hearing screen or rescreen appointment. Babies are brought for an outpatient rescreening prior to seeing a pediatric audiologist, or an audiologist who specializes in babies and young children. PLEASE DON’T ASSUME it’s just fluid in the ears…. It may or may not be, which is why you need to return for the rescreen. It is better to know for sure if your baby can hear all the soft sounds of speech.
A “Did not pass” at the second or rescreen appointment means your baby needs further testing by an audiologist. The audiologist should have experience with testing babies and should have the necessary equipment The Pediatric Audiologist(s) listed on your hospital’s Roadmap for Families lists the only audiologists determined to have the necessary experience and equipment. Please call them immediately for an evaluation. The younger your baby, the easier it is to perform the test. Your baby will need to be asleep. Older babies (6 months +) may require sedation so they sleep. You want to avoid this if possible due to added costs, limited audiology sites that can provide sedation safely, and most importantly the additional risks to your baby with sedation.