Audiology in Brief A new study by researchers at the New York University Langone Medical Center shows that healthy elderly patients can undergo cochlear implant surgery with minimal risk. Due to concerns about the effects of general anesthesia, many elderly people with hearing loss are not receiving implants, which can significantly improve ... News in Brief
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News in Brief  |   April 01, 2009
Audiology in Brief
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Hearing Disorders / Hearing Aids, Cochlear Implants & Assistive Technology / Special Populations / Early Identification & Intervention / News in Brief
News in Brief   |   April 01, 2009
Audiology in Brief
The ASHA Leader, April 2009, Vol. 14, 5. doi:10.1044/leader.NIB.14052009.5
The ASHA Leader, April 2009, Vol. 14, 5. doi:10.1044/leader.NIB.14052009.5
Cochlear Implants Safe for Healthy Elders
A new study by researchers at the New York University Langone Medical Center shows that healthy elderly patients can undergo cochlear implant surgery with minimal risk.
Due to concerns about the effects of general anesthesia, many elderly people with hearing loss are not receiving implants, which can significantly improve their hearing and quality of life, according to study co-author Anil Lalwani, Mendik Foundation professor of otolaryngology and chairman of the Department of Otolaryngology at NYU School of Medicine.
The researchers conducted a retrospective chart review of 70 patients older than 70 who received cochlear implants under general anesthesia at NYU Langone Medical Center between 1984 and 2007. The study divided patients into risk groups and identified postoperative anesthesia-related complications. Most patients tolerated the procedure and results showed no long-term morbidity or mortality related to the surgery or anesthesia.
The researchers concluded that general anesthesia is well-tolerated by healthy elderly patients undergoing cochlear implantation. Any pre-existing medical condition is a better predictor of intraoperative and postoperative complication than age alone, the researchers noted. Study co-author Jung T. Kim, vice chairman of the Department of Anesthesiology at NYU School of Medicine, said that as seniors embrace a healthy and active lifestyle, it is important that age alone should not deter a person from having cochlear implant surgery. For a study abstract, visit the February issue of The Laryngoscope.
New Recommendations for Newborn Hearing Screening
The U.S. Preventive Services Task Force (USPSTF) announced revised recommendations for newborn hearing screening and for several other conditions at Preventive Medicine 2009: The Annual Meeting of the American College of Preventive Medicine, held Feb. 11–14 in Los Angeles, Calif.
The recommendation for routine screening of newborns for bilateral congenital hearing loss was changed from a grade of I (insufficient evidence to recommend for or against) on its rating scale to a grade of B, meaning that there is at least fair evidence that screening improves health outcomes and that the benefits outweigh the risks.
The task force based this change on the findings of a large controlled trial conducted in the United Kingdom that demonstrated better language and school performance outcomes among populations that underwent screening, said Mary Barton, scientific director of USPTF. “This was very exciting for the task force,” Barton said. “It’s an important bit of progress in the preventive medicine world.”
Screening recommendations were also revised for Type 2 diabetes and chronic obstructive pulmonary disease. For more information, visit Medscape.
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April 2009
Volume 14, Issue 5