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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

Newborn hearing screening using TEOAE started in Slovakia in 1998. Initially, NHS was provided in ENT departments using ILO 92. From year 2000 NHS started in newborn departments and in year 2002 all newborns in Bratislava, the capital of Slovakia, were screened. In January 2005 the Ministry of Health provided screening TEOAE equipment to all eight special care baby units in Slovakia. From May 1, 2006 UNHS has been mandatory in Slovakia, using two-stage TEOAE in all 64 newborn departments. The first step of hearing screening is on the third day of life in healthy newborns, using portable screening TEOAE equipment. In high risk newborns hearing screening is performed before discharge from hospital. The second step of TEOAE screening is done 1 month after the first screening. In year 2005 – 42% newborns, in 2006 – 66% newborns and in 2007 – 94% were screened in Slovakia (only three small newborn departments do not yet have equipment for OAE screening). If there is a suspicion of hearing loss after the TEOAE hearing screening, it is followed by tympanometry as the next step, in order to clarify the status of middle ear. If the middle ear effusion (MEE) persists for more than 3 months, the insertion of ventilation tubes (VTs) is indicated before ASSR/ABR examination. To estimate the hearing threshold, ASSR is used in two ENT departments and ABR in the other four ENT departments in Slovakia. Infants with bilateral severe PHL and deafness are forwarded to the Slovak Cochlear Implant Center in Bratislava (I. ORL Department). After the hearing loss is confirmed, children are scheduled for early intervention (hearing aids and rehabilitation), followed by behavioral audiologic tests and/or repeat ASSR


  • Population: 5,443,583 (July 2014 est.)
  • Number of Annual Births (2012 est): 58,000
  • Birth rate: 10.01 births/1,000 population (2014 est.)
  • Percent of GDP spent on health care (2011): 9% of GDP (2010)
  • Percent of Health Care expenditures spent by government: 64.5% (2010)
  • Physician density: 3 physicians/1,000 population (2007)
  • Percent of newborns attended by skilled providers: 100%
  • Infant Mortality: 5.35 deaths/1,000 live births
  • Literacy (age 15 and over can read and write): 99.6%
  • Percent of children screened for hearing loss:
  • Incidence of permanent hearing loss among newborns:

Publications about EHDI Programs in Slovakia

  1. Jakubíková J, Kabátová Z, Pavlovcinová G, Profant M. Newborn hearing screening and strategy for early detection of hearing loss in infants. Int J Pediatr Otorhinolaryngol. 2009 Apr;73(4):607-12. doi: 10.1016/j.ijporl.2008.12.006.
  2. Jakubíková J, Kabátová Z, Závodná M. Identification of hearing loss in newborns by transient otoacoustic emissions. Int J Pediatr Otorhinolaryngol. 2003 Jan;67(1):15-8.

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