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ORIGINAL ARTICLE
Year : 2011  |  Volume : 3  |  Issue : 1  |  Page : 135-141

The influence of epidural anesthesia on new-born hearing screening: A pilot study


Department of Speech Pathology and Audiology, School of Human and Community Development, University of the Witwatersrand, Johannesburg, South Africa

Correspondence Address:
Katijah Khoza-Shangase
Department of Speech Pathology and Audiology, School of Human and Community Development, University of the Witwatersrand, Johannesburg
South Africa
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None


DOI: 10.4103/0975-7406.76493

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Objective : The main aim was to establish if epidural anesthesia had an influence on new-born hearing screening results in newborns born via elective Cesarean section in healthy pregnancies. Specific objectives included determining screening results in a group of newborns born to mothers who had undergone epidural anesthesia during Cesarean section childbirth (experimental group); and comparing the findings with those of a group of newborns born to mothers who had undergone natural delivery without epidural anesthesia (comparison group); while establishing if the time of screening following delivery had any effect on the overall screening results. Materials and Methods : The above objectives were achieved through the use of a prospective quasi-experimental repeated measures design with a comparison group, where 40 newborns (20 in the experimental and 20 in the comparison group) were screened at three different times through transient otoacoustic emissions (TEOAEs) and automated auditory brainstem response (AABR) measures. All participants were screened while resting quietly in open bassinets in an empty new-born nursery. For both test measures, the results were recorded as either pass or refer. Data were analyzed through both descriptive and inferential statistics. Results : Findings indicated that hearing screening earlier than four hours after birth, for both the experimental and comparison groups yielded more false positive findings than testing conducted after 24 hours. An index of suspicion in relation to the influence of epidural anesthesia on Automated Auditory Brainstem Response (AABR), when conducted less than four hours after birth, was raised, as statistically significant findings (P<0.05) were obtained. Conclusions : The findings have implications for timing of screening where universal newborn hearing screening is being implemented.


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