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Hearing Loss -Cochlear Implants Paediatric

Useful management information

  • Please refer to HealthPathways for information about the closest Hearing Implant service
  • Cochlear Implant services are not available at all locations
  • Logan Hospital Audiology will provide patients (aged 2-25 years who are eligible for hearing services through Hearing Australia) with programming of their cochlear implant.
  • Logan Hospital does not provide any ENT medical management of cochlear implants..
  • Some services may offer post-surgery cochlear implant services only
  • Some services may not be funded for all referral types.  For example, cochlear implantation for single sided deafness is currently only available at the Queensland Children’s Hospital to children who meet eligibility criteria
  • Meningitis there is a very high risk of cochlea ossification following bacterial meningitis, which can occur rapidly, and inhibit cochlear surgery. Urgent referral to audiology should be made for any child who has not yet had a hearing assessment following meningitis.   Any patient identified with significant hearing loss post-meningitis infection, should be referred to ENT urgently for radiological assessment and consideration of cochlear implantation. 
  • For children born deaf or with severe hearing loss, having a cochlear implant fitted before the age of 18 months can be vital for developing age-appropriate speech and language skills
  • Clinical urgency is the dominant consideration in the prioritisation of a referral for a child currently in out of home care (OOHC), or at risk of entering or leaving OOHC.
  • Queensland public hospitals do not dispense conventional or standard hearing aids # Except for adults who meet criteria for Princess Alexandra’s crisis care hearing aid bank 
  • Queensland Health Audiologists provide diagnostic hearing assessments which may result in a recommendation for hearing aids and/or an ENT opinion, but not the fitting of hearing aids. 
  • Hearing aids for children and young adults (<26 years) are provided through Hearing Australia (Hearing Australia (Children and Young Adults)
  • Early Intervention is essential for children with permanent hearing loss.  Options for Early Intervention can be found in the Choices e-book. Hearing Australia Choices e-book

Clinical resources

Patient resources

Minimum referral criteria (Does your patient meet the minimum criteria?)

Does your patient meet the minimum referral criteria?

Category 1
(appointment within 30 calendar days)

  • Referrals for Cochlear implant candidacy following meningitis (earliest available appointment)
  • Newly diagnosed severe to profound bilateral SNHL in children with congenital deafness (< 4 years old)
  • Children with significant vision impairment/Usher Syndrome whose SNHL has deteriorated to severe to profound.
  • A child currently in out of home care (OOHC) or at risk of entering or leaving OOHC, where they have previously been on a waiting list for this problem and were removed without receiving a service
  • Current cochlear impatient patient with otitis media, confirmed device movement or failure, pain, implant site skin breakdown/infection, or following trauma
Category 2
(appointment within 90 calendar days)
  • Limited or no benefit from wearing hearing aids as recommended by Hearing Australia audiologist or early intervention / speech pathologist
  • Single sided deafness
  • Severe to profound bilateral SNHL (acquired, progressive, or congenital deafness)
  • Current cochlear implant patient experiencing issues e.g. deterioration in hearing and performance
  • Aboriginal and/or Torres Strait Islander 
Category 3
(appointment within 365 calendar days)
  • Stable cochlear implantees transferring from other program 

If your patient does not meet the minimum referral criteria

  • Assessment and management information can be found on a range of conditions at Brisbane South HealthPathways
  • If the patient does not meet the criteria for referral but the referring practitioner believes the patient requires specialist review, a clinical override may be requested:
    • Please explain why (e.g. warning signs or symptoms, clinical modifiers, uncertain about diagnosis, etc.)
    • Please note that your referral may not be accepted or may be redirected to another service

Standard referral information (To be included in all referrals)

Reason for request

  • To establish a diagnosis
  • For treatment or intervention
  • For advice and management
  • For specialist to take over management
  • Reassurance for GP/second opinion
  • For a specified test/investigation the GP can't order, or the patient can't afford or access
  • Reassurance for the patient/family
  • For other reason (e.g. rapidly accelerating disease progression)
  • Clinical judgement indicates a referral for specialist review is necessary

Relevant clinical information about the condition

  • Presenting symptoms (evolution and duration)
  • Physical findings
  • Details of previous treatment (including systemic and topical medications prescribed) including the course and outcome of the treatment
  • All conservative options that have been pursued unsuccessfully prior to referral
  • Body mass index (BMI)
  • Details of any associated medical conditions which may affect the condition or its treatment (e.g. diabetes, BMI), noting these must be stable and controlled prior to referral
  • Any special care requirements where relevant (e.g tracheostomy in place, oxygen required)
  • Current medications and dosages
  • Drug allergies
  • Alcohol, tobacco and other drugs use
  • A comprehensive capture of information in relation to MSH Referral Criteria

Clinical modifiers

  • The presence of clinical modifiers may impact the categorisation of the patient.
  • Impact on employment
  • Impact on education
  • Impact on home
  • Impact on activities of daily living functioning – low/medium/high
  • Impact on ability to care for others
  • Impact on personal frailty or safety
  • Identifies as Aboriginal and/or Torres Strait Islander

Patient's Demographic Details

  • Full name (including aliases)
  • Date and country of birth
  • Residential and postal address including whether patient resides at an aged care facility
  • Telephone contact number/s – home, mobile and alternative
  • Medicare number (where eligible)
  • Name of the parent or caregiver (if appropriate)
  • Name of delegate and contact details (Department of Corrective Services)
  • Preferred language and interpreter requirements
  • Identifies as Aboriginal and/or Torres Strait Islander
  • Any special needs, access requirements and/or disability relevant to the referral

Referring Practitioner Details

  • Full name
  • Full address
  • Contact details – telephone, fax, email
  • Provider number
  • Date of referral
  • Signature
  • Nominated general practitioner’s details (if known), if the nominated general practitioner is different from the referring practitioner

Other relevant information

  • Willingness to have surgery (where surgery is a likely intervention)
  • Choice to be treated as a public or private patient
  • Compensable status (e.g. DVA, Work Cover, Motor Vehicle Insurance, etc.)

 

Essential referral information for Hearing Loss -Cochlear Implants Paediatric referrals (Referral will be returned without this)

  • Audiology reports and/or current audiograms (except when will unduly delay referral Eg. Meningitis)
  • Otological / ENT history  
  • MRI (brain/cranial nerves) and CT (temporal bones) results if available    
  • Confirmation of OOHC (where relevant)
  • Indigenous Status 

If a specific test result is unable to be obtained due to access, financial, religious, cultural or consent reasons a Clinical Override may be requested. This reason must be clearly articulated in the body of the referral.

Additional referral information for Hearing Loss -Cochlear Implants Paediatric referrals

  • Social modifiers i.e., effect on home schooling, out of home residence
  • Relevant diagnoses, co-morbidities, disabilities and medical issues
  • Results of aetiological investigations including genetics (provide reports if available)
  • Involvement from other health professionals
  • Results of aetiological investigations (include reports/proof, including genetic results as necessary)
  • Additional and relevant diagnosis, co-morbidities, disabilities and medical issues
  • MRI (Brain/ cranial nerves) and CT (Temporal Bone) results if applicable

Out of catchment

Metro South Health is responsible for providing public health services to the people who reside within its boundaries. Special consideration is made for patients requiring tertiary care or services that are not provided by their local Hospital and Health Service.  If your patient lives outside the Metro South Health area and you wish to refer them to one of our services, inclusion of information regarding their particular medical and social factors will assist with the triaging of your referral.

Last updated 3 June 2024