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  • Percent of children screened for hearing loss:
  • Incidence of permanent hearing loss among newborns:

Current Status of Early Hearing Detection and Intervention for Children

According to world statistics research, 2–3/1000 infants are born with bilateral severe hearing loss and 2–4 with bilateral moderate or unilateral hearing loss. For effective treatment congenital or perinatal hearing loss should be recognized within three months of birth, with formal diagnosis and initiation of early intervention beginning before the 6th month of age. Swift treatment is crucial, as the 1st year of life is critical for the normal development of speech and language, as well as intellectual and emotional growth, all in which normal hearing plays a huge role. Normal hearing is one of the central nervous system’s most essential tools for creating the physiological processes of integration, abstraction and the creation of ‘‘internal speech’’, which is a necessary foundation of the thought process. The Polish National Universal Neonatal Hearing Screening (PNUNHS) program is designed to evaluate all newborn children and consists of three levels. The first level of hearing screening takes place during the first 2–3 days of life, using the Transient Evoked Otoacoustic Emission (TEOAE) test; all newborns are also analyzed for audiological risk factors. Infants who don’t meet the TEOAE pass criteria and infants with high risk factors for hearing loss are referred to the second level of the otolaryngology department, which analyzes and verifies the positive TEOAE tests, conducts observations of hearing behavior and begins preliminary treatment. Children of about 3 months of age undergo an OAE and Auditory Brainstem Response (ABR) testing [5]. The third level is headed by advanced audiological centers, which are responsible for ultimate treatment and rehabilitation for children with hearing loss or deafness. This program provides a chance for early diagnosis and proper treatment of hearing impairment.


  • Population: 38,346,279 (July 2014 est.)
  • Number of Annual Births (2012 est): 388,416
  • Birth rate: 10.1 live births per 1 000 population
  • Percent of GDP spent on health care (2011): 6.9%
  • Percent of Health Care expenditures spent by government: 70%
  • Physician density: 2.07 physicians/1,000 population (2010)
  • Percent of newborns attended by skilled providers: 100%
  • Infant Mortality: 5.20 in 2010
  • Literacy (age 15 and over can read and write): 99.7%
  • Percent of children screened for hearing loss: 98%
  • Incidence of permanent hearing loss among newborns: 2.97 per 1000 infants

Publications about EHDI Programs in Poland

  1. Bielecki I, Horbulewicz A, Wolan T. Risk factors associated with hearing loss in infants: an analysis of 5282 referred neonates. Int J Pediatr Otorhinolaryngol. 2011 Jul;75(7):925-30.
  2. Szyfter, W., Wróbel, M., Radziszewska-Konopka, M., Szyfter-Harris, J., and Karlik M. 2008. Polish universal neonatal hearing screening program-4-year experience (2003-2006). International Journal of Pediatric Otorhinolaryngology 72 (12):1783-1787.
  3. Wroblewska-Seniuk, K., Chojnacka, K., Pucher, B., Szczapa, J., Gadzinowski, J., and Grzegorowski, M. 2005. The results of newborn hearing screening by means of transient evoked otoacoustic emissions. International Journal of Pediatric Otorhinolaryngology 69:1351-1357.

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