Universal Newborn Hearing Screening Data

Starting on September 1, 2016, the new Universal Newborn Hearing Screening (UNHS) program began in 14 facilities across the province. The facilities where screening is performed have more than 75 births per year. Infants born outside these sites at home or other birth sites are referred to outpatient sites for screening.

The Universal Newborn Hearing Screening Act stipulates the parent or legal guardian of an infant must be offered the opportunity to have their infant screened for hearing loss. If the parent or guardian wishes to have the infant screened, the infant should be screened before discharge from the hospital or arrangements must be made to screen at an outpatient facility.

Sites may not always have screeners on duty. Infants that are missed in hospital are followed up by screeners who place phone calls to families to arrange outpatient follow-up appointments.

Screening is recommended for infants as early detection of hearing loss allows for care providers to support the child in language and communication development whether they choose treatment(s) or an alternate communication method.

Annual Review

April 1, 2021 - March 31, 2022
Number of babies born Offers made % of babies born offered screening* Offers accepted % of offers accepted by family* Screening initiated % of offers accepted that are screened* Number referred to diagnostic assessment % of screened referred to DA* Number identified with hearing loss % of babies referred to DA that result in a diagnosed hearing loss (all types)* % of babies born found with hearing loss*
16,663 16,355 98% 16,117 98% 15,845 98% 450 2.79% 118 26% 0.7%

* percentages have been rounded