The BC Early Hearing Program (BCEHP) has established provincial standards of practice in early hearing screening, audiological assessment and intervention services.
The program works with BC's health authorities to provide development and training opportunities to those who deliver services on behalf of the BCEHP to ensure that BC children receive services that meet the standards and principles of the BCEHP.
Medical management guidelines
The purpose of these guidelines are to assist physicians in the management of infants and young children newly diagnosed with sensorineural hearing loss through the BC Early Hearing Program (BCEHP). These guidelines are anticipated to be informational only, and are not intended or designed to substitute reasonable exercise of independent clinical judgment by physicians and medical providers.
Guidelines directed towards infants or children newly diagnosed with sensorineural hearing loss (SNHL) are presented.
Structural conductive impairments can arise from maldevelopment of the external or middle ears. The medical management of these children with the resultant conductive hearing loss (CHL) is beyond the scope of these guidelines.
Expedited medical referral
Babies with confirmed hearing loss require a detailed medical assessment by an otolaryngologist. The BC Otolaryngology Society has worked with BCEHP to ensure there are no delays in fitting of amplification and that medical assessment is initiated by three months of diagnosis.
The BCEHP has designated otolaryngologists who will ensure infants have the necessary approvals in place quickly. These otolaryngologists are familiar with the program’s medical assessment guidelines for young children with sensorineural hearing loss and will accept referrals for medical assessment of children identified with permanent hearing loss within the BCEHP.