QEH receives equipment to test newborns’ hearing
Babies born at the Queen Elizabeth Hospital (QEH) can now be screened for hearing problems within hours of birth, thanks to a new Natus Hearing Screening machine donated to the Paediatric Department by St Nicholas Abbey and the Rotary Club of Barbados South.
The machine, estimated to cost $45,000, can confirm suspicious cases with a secondary, more sophisticated test.
Head of Paediatrics Dr Clyde Cave said the approximately 2,500 babies born in Barbados annually would be screened, and while the equipment has a lifespan of five years, about 10 000 plus babies would likely be screened over that period.
“We would estimate . . . that there are three hearing impaired children per year, but obviously more of them who might be suspect. This is the actual machine that has the mini computer, it does the reading and the recording,” Dr Cave said.
The funds used to purchase the machine were raised through concerts staged by both donors – St Nicholas Abbey’s annual carol concert last December and last year’s Classical Best of Youth concert organized by the Rotary Club in collaboration with the National Cultural Foundation.
The World Doctors Orchestra which performed at the youth concert had requested that the proceedings go towards a children medical charity.