Chennai

Infant undergoes cochlear implant at CMC Hospital in Vellore

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The five-month-old had developed hearing loss secondary to meningitis

A cochlear implant surgery was successfully performed on a five-month-old boy at the Christian Medical College Hospital (CMC) in Vellore under the Tamil Nadu Chief Minister’s Comprehensive Health Insurance Scheme.

“Although this surgery is usually performed on children aged one year and above, this child needed early surgery since he had developed hearing loss secondary to meningitis,” said Anjali Lepcha, Professor and Head, ENT Unit 4, Christian Medical College.

The premature baby, now weighing 4.3 kg, was born in the CMC Hospital, to a low-income family from Polur in Tiruvannamalai.

High-risk case

Dr. Lepcha added that since the risks involved in performing a cochlear implant on a baby were high, services of experienced anaesthetists and paediatricians were called in for the surgery.

“This surgery was performed by a team of doctors from the department of ENT Unit 4. After 2 weeks the device will be switched on and the baby will start hearing. We hope he will grow up with normal hearing, speech and language development,” she said.

Dr. Anjali said, “It is important to detect hearing loss in new-borns and treat them as early as possible as a delay will result in absent or poor speech and language. For this reason, in our hospital all new born babies are screened for hearing loss.”

“In a baby who contracts meningitis, like this baby, It is even more important to identify hearing loss early in a baby who contracts meningitis, like this case, and do a cochlear implant since meningitis can lead to the closing of the inner ear making it impossible to perform a cochlear implant later,” she added.

Cochlear implant is done on people with profound hearing impairment.

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Printable version | Jan 21, 2020 7:41:20 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/cities/chennai/infant-undergoes-cochlear-implant-at-cmc-hospital-in-vellore/article30333012.ece

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