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Texas Early Hearing Detection and Intervention (TEHDI)

Infant sleeps through her hearing screening.The Texas Early Hearing Detection and Intervention Program is dedicated to ensuring that newborns and young children with hearing loss are identified as early as possible. Our goal is to provide appropriate intervention services in order to prevent delays in communication and cognitive skill development. Texas Newborn Hearing Screening was established in 1999 through the passage of House Bill 714 and is being implemented in Texas birthing facilities. The Texas Department of State Health Services (DSHS) is the oversight state agency.

New Rules Proposed for Newborn Hearing Screening – Public Comment Period

The Department of State Health Services Newborn Hearing Screening Program is repealing current rules, (25 TAC) §§37.501 – 37.512, and proposing new rules, §§37.501 – 37.507, for Newborn Hearing Screening. The proposed new rules have been posted in the November 7, 2014 edition of the Texas Register and public comments will be accepted for 30 days following the publication date. Public comments can be sent via email to: davidr.martinez@dshs.state.tx.us

Comments also can be faxed to 512-776-7593 or mailed to:

Texas Department of State Health Services
Newborn Screening Unit
Attention: David R. Martinez
Mail Code 1918
P.O. Box 149347
Austin, Texas 78714-9347

Cytomegalovirus: A Common Cause of Hearing Loss in Children

Cytomegalovirus (CMV) is a viral infection that is common. Most people have been infected with CMV by adulthood. If the CMV infection occurs for the first time during pregnancy, especially early in pregnancy, the developing fetus may have birth defects including being deaf or hard of hearing. CMV is the most common virus passed to an unborn baby, detectable in an estimated 0.64 -.70% of live births worldwide. Eighty percent of babies with congenital CMV infection will never develop symptoms or disabilities. When congenital CMV does cause a problem, the most common problem is hearing loss. Although not easily spread from person to person, infection can occur following contact with the virus through various secretions including saliva. Good hygiene, such as hand washing, can help prevent CMV infection in pregnant women.

CMV infections account for approximately 15 to 21 percent of newborns with congenital deafness in the United States. A baby with a congenital CMV infection may develop hearing loss later in childhood and needs monitoring for hearing loss.

The Department of State health Services sponsors a Teratogen Information Program and hotline (toll free 1-855-884-7248 ) to assist Texans in determining if a drug, infection, or environmental exposure could affect their pregnancy. A teratogen is any medication, chemical, infectious disease (including CMV), or environmental exposure that could affect the development of a fetus.

The American Speech and Hearing Association has an article that provides more information on CMV including treatment, prevention and assessments.

Texas and National Data

Read the 2011 Annual Report to learn more about the TEHDI program’s history, accomplishments and projects. View the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention 2012 Annual Data for national statistics on early hearing detection and intervention. 

Zade pointing.Zade’s Story: TEHDI Program Makes a Difference

Zade, who has been wearing hearing aids for most of his young life, points to providers in the continuum of care to use the TEHDI Program's management information system that tracks the screening, diagnosis, and intervention process. Read more about Zade’s journey through the TEHDI process.

Early Hearing Detection and Intervention – Pediatric Audiologists Links to Services (EHDI-PALS)

EHDI-PALS provides a national web-based directory of facilities that offer pediatric audiology services to young children who are younger than five years of age.

Providers are encouraged to list their facilities in the EHDI-PALS directory. List or update your facility in the directory.

Facility Certification Requirements for Newborn Hearing Screening

Please contact Doug Dittfurth, TEHDI Coordinator, with questions regarding birth facility certification requirements at 1-800-252-8023, extension 7726. (Use relay option of your choice if needed.)

Reporting to TEHDI

The Texas Department of State Health Services and the TEHDI Program provide reporting requirements to the statewide system for all hearing screening service providers.

For information on how to obtain a user name, password and system training, please call Oz Systems at (866) 427-5768. Then select option 3.

DSHS and its contractor, OZ Systems, are committed to providing the guidance and advice needed to help all facilities achieve required certification criteria and performance standards.

Texas Department of State Health Services
Texas Early Hearing Detection and Intervention (TEHDI)
PO Box 149347 MC-1918
Austin, Texas 78714-9909
Phone: 1-800-252-8023, ask for extension 7726
(Use relay option of your choice if needed.)
Fax: 512-776-7125
Email: tehdi@dshs.state.tx.us 

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Last updated November 13, 2014