Audiology

At The Montreal Children’s Hospital, children are referred to the Audiology Department to have their hearing tested.

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Who we are

At The Montreal Children’s Hospital, children are referred to the Audiology Department to have their hearing tested. Many children seen are referred because they have a history of otitis media (inflammation of the inner ear) or because they require medical treatment for a hearing impairment.

Children presenting with a speech, language, communication or developmental delays are also automatically referred to the Audiology Department to rule out any possible hearing loss. In addition, our department sees all children who are placed on any types of medication that are known to affect hearing. Such patients, like the ones followed in the Oncology/Hematology Department, who are receiving chemotherapy, are seen on a regular basis to monitor their hearing status.

The Audiology Department has also developed a wide expertise in evaluating the hearing of newborns and infants. If hearing loss is diagnosed, patients and families are given information and strategies to overcome communication challenges and are referred to the appropriate rehabilitation centres.

 

Our history

Audiological services have been provided at The Montreal Children’s Hospital since 1950, but it was in 1973 that an independent Audiology Department was created. Over the years, our department has grown in size, starting with only one audiologist. Presently, 7 audiologists serve our clientele each day. On average, 4,000 children are seen annually by the department.

Over the years, the audiology department has developed many specialized services and is now part of numerous multi-disciplinary teams. New advances in technology permit us to use objective measurements that can precisely assess hearing in children from birth to adulthood.  In 2006, the audiology department prompted the launch of systematic newborn hearing screening to our Well Baby Nursery and all babies from the Intensive Care Unit. Our audiologists are also involved with patients referred by the Autism, Cleft Palate and Developmental Progress clinics, as well as the Head Injury Program, ENT, Oncology and Neonatology departments.

 

Our team

The Montreal Children’s Hospital Audiology team consists of experienced audiologists, who have all obtained a Master’s degree from a recognized University and who are members of our provincial professional organizations. Each audiologist specializes in one particular area of our field according to their interests and department needs. Specialization is acquired and maintained by continuing education, journal clubs, discussion, and attending international conferences.

Department head

Anne-Marie Hurteau, Professional Coordinator

Where the care happens

The audiology department is located in the A wing on the first floor of the hospital (level RC). Each soundproof room is equipped with the necessary audiology equipment to evaluate the hearing of children. The audiologists make sure that our working environment is child friendly and meets health and security standards.

Our services

Universal Newborn Hearing Screening Program: Congenital hearing loss is the most frequent anomaly (difference) at birth, and without any screening it will go undetected until much later on. In 1994, with the support of neonatologists, the Audiology Department started to systematically screen the hearing of babies that were hospitalized in the Neonatal Intensive Care Unit. This program was a success and in 2009, with the financial support of the MCH and RVH foundations, the MUHC started offering newborn hearing screening to all NICU babies and babies from the Well Baby Nursery. Our audiologists are responsible for training a dedicated screener and to follow up with all children that do not pass the screening test. With the help of our Information Systems Department, a sophisticated database was created that enables us to maintain a high standard quality control.

Trauma Program: Since 1995, the audiology department has been involved in the MCH Trauma program. The audiologist on the team evaluates the hearing of all children that have sustained a head injury when the hearing is at risk, and participates in weekly interdisciplinary team meetings and prevention activities.

Cranio-facial and Cleft Lip and Palate Clinic: One of our audiologists has been involved in developing family-centered and timely mannered hearing assessments and intervention to children with cleft lips and palates. These children are at risk of experiencing permanent or temporary hearing loss due to cranio-facial malformations. All children are tested from birth and are followed throughout the years to ascertain that their hearing status is always optimized.

Bone Anchored Hearing Aid Program: The Montreal Children’s Hospital Audiology Department was one of the first in Quebec to evaluate and fit children with this specialized hearing device. MCH ENT specialists and plastic surgeons from the Shriner’s Hospital refer patients who might benefit from this hearing aid to the program for evaluation of their candidacy, counseling and fitting of the external hearing device.

Click here for eligibility criteria for a referral.

Note: Referrals are prioritized based on presence of a risk factor for hearing loss. To refer a patient, please use the attached referral form to ensure adequate prioritization. 

Resources

Conditions and illnesses

Questions about an already scheduled appointment:

Room A RC.4227

Tel: 514-412-4454

Refer a patient 

The Audiology department is part of Brain Development & Behavior. New referrals must be processed via the Central Intake Service.

Please follow the instructions for referral on the Central Intake webpage and send it by:

  • Fax: (514) 412-4136
  • Email: bdbci@muhc.mcgill.ca

Safety and wellness

If the person standing beside you can hear the music playing on your MP3 player then it’s too @#

Audiologists are warning iPod/MP3 users to turn their music down!