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Key messages

  • Approximately one in every 1,000 infants will have a permanent hearing loss in both ears at birth that is moderate, severe or profound. Newborn hearing screening aims to identify infants born with a hearing impairment regardless of whether they are at risk. It is based on well-established research evidence that the earlier hearing loss is identified, the better the outcome for the child.
  • The hearing screen is not a diagnostic test, therefore any infant that does not receive a 'pass' result (i.e. a ‘refer’ result) requires referral for a diagnostic audiology assessment.
  • The technology used in newborn hearing screening is quick, easy and reliable, and the results can be provided to families immediately.

Safer Care Victoria endorses the Victorian Infant Hearing Screening Program (VIHSP) which provides statewide newborn hearing screening to infants born at all Victorian maternity hospitals.

Victorian Infant Hearing Screening Program logo

VIHSP information includes:

  • Types of permanent childhood hearing impairment
  • Degrees of hearing loss
  • Prevalence
  • Diagnosis
  • Early intervention and outcomes.

The e-learning resource Infant Hearing provides more information for parents and families including videos and interactive diagrams.

Get in touch

Centre of Clinical Excellence - Women and Children
Safer Care Victoria

Version history

First published: September 2016

Last reviewed: June 2022

Page last updated: 06 Jul 2022

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