Skip links and keyboard navigation

Healthy Hearing Program, Universal Newborn Screening, Townsville HHS Resource Directory


The Healthy Hearing Program is comprised of a Newborn Hearing Screening Program and a Diagnostic Audiology Program.

The Healthy Hearing Program provides hearing screens to all newborn babies born at The Townsville Hospital. Ideally, all babies will have their hearing screen prior to discharge from hospital. The screening process utilises Automated Auditory Brainstem Response (AABR) equipment. Screening is non-invasive and consists of soft clicks played into the baby’s ear through earphones. Sensor pads placed on the forehead, neck and shoulder record the response as the sound travels from the ear to the auditory nervous system to the brain. The hearing screen gives a ‘pass result’ or a ‘refer result’.

A ‘pass result’ indicates that at the time of the screen the baby could hear at levels required for normal speech and language development. As hearing can change ongoing monitoring is recommended using a checklist for your baby’s hearing and speech. Download the checklist here (PDF, 185 KB)A ‘refer result’ indicates the need for further assessment to determine if a hearing impairment is present. A baby who receives a ‘refer result’ will initially have another screen attended. If a second ‘refer result’ is obtained they are referred to audiology for comprehensive diagnostic assessment.

Target surveillance will be required for babies who are identified as presenting with a risk factor for the development of late-onset or progressive hearing loss. These babies are referred to audiology at the time of screening for a diagnostic assessment at nine to 12 months of age and a review at three-and-a-half years of age.

All health care practitioners can support the Healthy Hearing Program by:

  • Encouraging parents to attend screening and audiology appointments;
  • Assisting parents in monitoring their babies hearing;
  • Assisting families to come to terms with a diagnosis of hearing loss and referring when necessary.

Information on the Audiology unit.

Contact details

  Newborn Screening Paediatric Audiology
Contact Marissa Edmondson Sreedevi Aithal

The Townsville Hospital,
100 Angus Smith Drive,  Douglas QLD 4814

Dept of Audiology, The Townsville Hospital,
100 Angus Smith Drive,  Douglas QLD 4814

 Phone +61 7 4433 2995 +61 7 4433 2763
 Facsimile +61 7 4433 2148 +61 7 4433 2751

Last updated: 19 December 2016