Universal Newborn Hearing Screening

Each year in Washington state around 233 babies are born with hearing loss. With an incidence of approximately 3 in 1,000 births, hearing loss is the most frequently occurring birth defect.

The first two years of life are the most critical for learning speech and language, and unidentified hearing loss can severely impact a child's ability to learn these important skills.

Over 50% of babies born with hearing loss have no known risk factors for hearing loss, and 90% of babies with hearing loss are born to normal hearing parents.

Therefore, it is important to screen all newborns for hearing loss through universal newborn hearing screening programs. Currently, all birth hospitals in Washington state perform newborn hearing screening on all infants as the standard of care.

General Newborn Hearing Screening Information