Table 1

Risk factors for which referral for audiological testing recommended

*Family history is recognised as being a difficult risk factor to determine accurately. Guidelines for inquiry about this factor were: “We are not interested in cases where there has been progressive loss in adulthood or where there are family members who have had a chronic ear disease. We are interested in families where a blood relative was born deaf or became deaf in the first five years of life. This may have been indicated by the wearing of hearing aids or affected speech.”
1.Family history of congenital hearing impairment*
2.Rubella, cytomegalovirus, or toxoplasmosis during pregnancy or other perinatal infections
3.Birth asphyxia as defined by an Apgar score of less than 4 at five minutes of age
4.Birth weight below 1500 g
5.Exchange transfusion or serum bilirubin level greater than 350 μmol/l
6.Congenital abnormalities of the head and neck
7.Parental concern
8.Later risk factors, e.g. bacterial meningitis, developmental delay